Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is poised to be re-elected in Sunday’s polls, buoyed by public help for her coronavirus dealing with regardless of a current rise in infections that has raised issues of a resurgence of the illness.
The first girl to go the Japanese capital, Koike, 67, can also be seen as a possible candidate to succeed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when his time period ends in September 2021. For now, she says she’s targeted on defending the lives of the 14 million individuals in Tokyo, a megacity with a $1 trillion financial system.
“Fighting against the coronavirus for the residents of Tokyo is my first and foremost responsibility,” she stated on the eve of the election.
In her marketing campaign message on-line, Koike pledged to steadiness illness prevention and the financial system underneath Tokyo’s “new normal”.
Tokyo’s coronavirus infections began to rebound in late June to reach 131 confirmed circumstances on Saturday, topping 100 for a 3rd straight day and hitting a two-month excessive since early May. New each day circumstances have additionally spiked in current weeks nationwide to about 19,700, with 977 deaths.
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Koike’s challengers embody in style actor-turned-politician Taro Yamamoto and veteran lawyer Kenji Utsunomiya. Yamamoto desires to cancel the Tokyo Olympics and use the funds to assist individuals harm by the coronavirus disaster, whereas Utsunomiya, generally known as the Bernie Sanders of Japan, is asking for higher welfare help for a extra inclusive and various society.
Results are anticipated quickly after polls shut Sunday night time. A current ballot by the Mainichi newspaper has Koike main her challengers by a large margin.
Among different issues, Koike says Japan ought to have its personal model of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She additionally tried to realize public help for an easier model of the Tokyo Olympics after the video games have been postponed to subsequent yr because of the pandemic.
Though Koike has not absolutely delivered on guarantees to Tokyo residents to alleviate congestion on commuter trains, guarantee satisfactory availability of kid and elder care amenities and finish overwork, even her critics have lauded her dealing with of the pandemic. That’s in sharp distinction to Abe, who has been criticised for doing too little, too late.
As the pandemic deepened within the spring, Koike typically upstaged fellow conservative Abe, whose help rankings have plunged resulting from his dealing with of the disaster and its extreme affect on the financial system, on prime of a slew of scandals.
A former TV newscaster, Koike is trendy and media savvy. She earned the nickname “migratory bird” for hopping between events and forming new alliances – a minimum of seven instances – a rarity amongst Japanese politicians well-known for his or her loyalty to social gathering factions.