On 5 July, Japan held its due gubernatorial elections, and while the globally raging COVID-19 pandemic still has not subsided in the island country, attention was spared to the fight for the capital city. The incumbent governor, Koike Yuriko (68), had a number of challengers, but there were three of them who could be regarded as having any chance. Analysing the political background, the campaign promises, and the history of these candidates can provide a colourful account of contemporary Japanese politics on a local level. And while Governor Koike was successful in preserving her seat, her rivals will remain part of political discourse—more so than ever considering the fast approaching end of the Abe-leadership.
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