News Column

Profiles of major candidates in Tokyo gubernatorial election

January 22, 2014

TOKYO , Jan. 23 -- ( Kyodo ) _ The following are brief profiles of major candidates in the Feb. 9 Tokyo gubernatorial election. ----- Morihiro Hosokawa , 76 Hosokawa was Japan's prime minister from August 1993 until he resigned in April 1994 amid criticism over a 100 million yen loan he had taken 12 years earlier from parcel delivery firm Sagawa Express Co. Hosokawa was the first prime minister in 38 years who was not from the Liberal Democratic Party as he headed a reform-minded eight-party coalition government. With popular former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi , Hosokawa has formed a rare alliance for the election based on their common goal of abolishing nuclear power generation in Japan . Hosokawa has been away from politics and making pottery since he quit the House of Representatives in May 1998 at the age of 60. He was Kumamoto governor for eight years from 1983. ----- Yoichi Masuzoe, 65 Masuzoe, known as an expert on international affairs, is backed by the LDP and its ruling coalition partner, the New Komeito party. He headed the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare between August 2007 and September 2009 in three administrations, including Shinzo Abe's first premiership. Masuzoe, a member of the LDP until he left in 2010 to form a new party, is also an antinuclear advocate but opposes an immediate end to nuclear energy, saying alternatives are not ready in Japan . Masuzoe was defeated by Shintaro Ishihara in the April 1999 Tokyo gubernatorial election. ----- Toshio Tamogami, 65 Tamogami, who was Air Self-Defense Force chief from March 2007 to October 2008 , has received personal support from Ishihara, now co-leader of the Japan Restoration Party . Tamogami was removed from the post for publishing an essay that argued Japan was not an aggressor in World War II , contradicting the government's official stance. He believes his experience in the field of defense will help Tokyo better prepare for natural disasters, especially ahead of the Olympics in 2020. ----- Kenji Utsunomiya , 67 Utsunomiya, the former president of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations , is looking for a nuclear-free Japan like Hosokawa. Recommended by the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party , Utsunomiya aims to make Tokyo the world's most comfortable city to work and live in. He is known for his work in helping heavily indebted people. Utsunomiya finished a distant second to Naoki Inose in the December 2012 Tokyo gubernatorial election.

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Source: Japan Economic Newswire

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