Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike appears to have carved out a position as the most popular politician in Japan — or at least in Tokyo's Nagatacho district, the epicenter of national politics.

The Democratic Party, the largest opposition force, effectively disbanded last week to capitalize on Koike's assumed popularity among voters, forcing many members to join her new party.

In the past two weeks, Koike and her Kibo no To (Party of Hope) have received massive coverage from media outlets (including The Japan Times), which have played up her prospective challenge for prime ministership and her role in potentially controlling the fates of hundreds of candidates in the Oct. 22 Lower House election.