Nine candidates have announced their candidacy for the Tokyo gubernatorial election, which will be held on Dec. 16, the same day as the Lower House election. Since Tokyo is the nation’s capital and the center of Japan’s political, economic and intellectual activities, the result of the gubernatorial election will have an impact on the whole country. But the candidates must make proposals to address the negative aspects of life in Tokyo rather than just its vibrant side so that Tokyoites will be able to live better lives.

The gubernatorial election will virtually be a four-way fight among former Vice Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose, who was named by ex-Gov. Shintaro Ishihara as his heir and is supported by Komeito, the Japan Restoration Party (headed by Mr. Ishihara) and the Liberal Democratic Party; former Kanagawa Gov. Shigefumi Matsuzawa; Mr. Takashi Sasagawa, a former head of the LDP’s executive council, and Mr. Kenji Utsunomiya, former head of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, supported by Tomorrow Party of Japan (the Japan Future Party), the Japan Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party.

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