On Sunday, Tokyo elected its first female governor. Yuriko Koike, the former defense minister who also served as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's special adviser on national security when he was first in office from 2006 to 2007, scored a landslide victory, winning by more than 1 million votes. She took over the office from Yoichi Masuzoe, who resigned in mid-June over a spending scandal.

When Koike first announced her intention to run, it sparked discord within the Liberal Democratic Party, which is the largest force in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly. Wary of endorsing another "celebrity" candidate who could be forced to resign over financial or other personal scandal, at the time of her announcement the LDP leadership had already been exploring several former bureaucrats as candidates.

When Koike indicated that she would run regardless of whether the LDP endorsed her or not, it triggered a strong negative reaction from the party's rank and file, including Nobuteru Ishihara, son of former Gov. Shintaro Ishihara and the chairman of the LDP Tokyo chapter, who went so far as to say "she will no longer be considered a member of LDP from this day forward."