With the launch on Friday of official campaigning for next month's Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election, analysts are watching how a regional party founded by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike fares against an alliance of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito.

The analysts say they are not sure if Koike is fully committed to leading Tomin First no Kai (Tokyoites First) to victory in the July 4 election, suggesting she may be tempted to get closer to the LDP and Komeito as speculation swirls about her possible return to national politics.

The LDP and Komeito backed Koike's bid for re-election in the Tokyo gubernatorial race last year, and Koike has frequently met with LDP Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai, an influential power broker in Nagatacho, the epicenter of Japanese politics.