A candidate backed by the Liberal Democratic Party-led ruling bloc won Sunday's mayoral election in Hachioji, Tokyo, despite the LDP being embroiled in a high-profile slush funds scandal linked to its factions' fundraising parties.

In the closely contested election, Kazuo Shiyake, 59, a former employee of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, secured the Hachioji mayoralty for the first time, beating his four rival candidates, including Yasuhiko Takita, 41, a former Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly member.

Shiyake, who ran in the poll as an independent, was supported by the LDP and its coalition partner, Komeito.

While touting himself as the successor to the city's outgoing mayor, Shiyake highlighted his track record of engaging in duties related to crisis management when he was working for the metropolitan government. Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, who initially did not clarify her stance regarding the election, visited Hachioji to support Shiyake during the final stage of campaigning.

Former LDP Policy Research Council head Koichi Hagiuda, who was recently questioned by public prosecutors over the political funds scandal, refrained from active support for Shiyake, although Hachioji is the electoral stronghold for the LDP lawmaker.

In the mayoral election, Takita was backed by three opposition parties: the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party. The other three candidates were former Tokyo assembly member Minoru Morozumi, 61, corporate worker Takayuki Hattori, 40, and dispatch worker Takayuki Kamata, 58.

Voter turnout came to 38.66%, up from 31.46% in the previous Hachioji mayoral election in 2020.