Former Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koji Matsui won the Kyoto mayoral campaign Sunday with promises to tackle the city’s over-tourism problem, with his ideas including a new fare system for public transport that would make bus and subway rides cheaper for residents but more expensive for visitors.
But in order to implement that idea, there needs to be a change in the national law, and how effective the plan would be in easing travel congestion for local residents is still unclear.
Matsui — who ran without official party endorsement but was backed by the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito, as well as the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and Democratic Party for the People — will succeed Daisaku Kadokawa, who has been mayor since 2008. He won with 177,454 votes, while his main challenger, Kazuhito Fukuyama, who had unofficial support from the Japanese Communist Party, garnered 161,203 votes. Voter turnout was 41.67%, about one point higher than four years ago.