Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike hopes to “Reset Japan” by taming Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike, is hoping to reshape the upcoming election in Japan by promising to “reset Japan.” Koike, a recent dynamic to a much greater degree in the current body politic of this nation – despite her longevity – is based on her political success in the capital of this nation. Of course, Koike hails from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) but changed course after having differences with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, over running for the leadership of Tokyo.

Koike now heads the new party called Party of Hope (Kibo no To) but it remains to be seen if the expected election in late October will be too soon. Yes, a firm power base can be expected throughout Greater Tokyo and surrounding prefectures. However, it remains to be seen if she can transcend her appeal nationally, especially with her remaining faithful to being the Governor of Tokyo.

At an eagerly awaited press conference, Koike said, “I’m launching Kibo no To in order to reset Japan.” She continued, “Now is the time to be bold and carry out politics with no strings attached.”

Koike optimistically said, “We are going to create a Japan where there is hope for everyone that tomorrow will certainly be better than today.”

Other political slogans including “reforms and conservatism” sounds all too familiar, in relation to the ruling LDP. Indeed, Abe and Koike can both play the “populist card” even if the agenda is slightly different. For Koike, this notably applies to her stance on Article 9, the nuclear sector, freezing consumption tax, and focusing more on the role of women in society.

Abe, knowing that recent scandals will be aimed at his leadership, is boldly focusing on “his human resources development revolution.” He said, “We will turn Japan’s social security system into one that responds to all generations by boldly diverting policy resources to resolve the two major concerns – child rearing and (elderly) nursing care – that working generations confront.”

Of course, the economic realm is what the majority of voters are concerned about because bread and butter issues always hit home. Yet, with missiles from North Korea flying over Northern Japan, then Abe hopes his strong approach to the crisis will garner in a fresh momentum. Hence, the moderate military approach being taken by Koike may backfire under the prevailing conditions emanating from the Korean Peninsula.

Overall, it appears that time is on the side of the current leader of Japan, even if his position becomes weakened by the Governor of Tokyo.

 

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

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