Tokyo gubernatorial election, 2016
Tokyo held an election on 31 July 2016 to elect the successor to Governor Yoichi Masuzoe, who submitted his resignation to the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly on 15 June 2016. By-elections in four of Tokyo's cities were held on the same day to fill vacancies in the Assembly.
Yoichi Masuzoe, a former national Minister of Health, Labour, and Welfare, was elected at the February 2014 election. At the election he was endorsed by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Komeito and received more than 2.11 million votes, more than double his nearest opponent in the seven-candidate race. He replaced Naoki Inose, who had resigned in the second year of his four-year term due a political funds scandal.
In May 2016 reports surfaced concerning Masuzoe's misuse of public funds, including the use of his chauffeur-driven government car to travel to and from his holiday house on most weekends. As examination into his spending continued, it was found that he had misused funds to purchase items including art, comics and meals, as well as paying for his family to stay in hotels that were accounted as meeting-related expenses. An independent investigation ultimately determined that he had acted inappropriately but not illegally. Despite this, surveys showed that more than 90% of Tokyo residents were dissatisfied with his handling of the issue and lack of clear explanation.
As pressure grew on Masuzoe to resign, a no-confidence motion jointly submitted by all of the parties represented in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly was to be voted upon in the afternoon of 15 June. As the motion was likely to pass and wanting to avoid further disruption to the governing of the city, Masuzoe submitted his resignation to assembly President Shigeo Kawai on the morning of the 15th, to become effective as of 21 June.
A total of 21 candidates nominated for the election. Yuriko Koike, a former Minister of Defence and incumbent member for the Tokyo 10th district in the House of Representatives, announced her candidacy despite not receiving an endorsement from the Liberal Democratic Party. Instead, the LDP (along with Komeito and the Party for Japanese Kokoro) endorsed Hiroya Masuda, who is a former Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications and former governor of Iwate Prefecture. Actor Junichi Ishida was approached by the Democratic Party but ultimately declined to run. Ultimately, the Democratic Party and other opposition parties (including the Communist and Social Democratic parties) endorsed veteran journalist Shuntaro Torigoe. Kenji Utsunomiya, former head of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations and a candidate in the two previous gubernatorial elections, announced his intention to run on 11 July but withdrew two days later.
The Guardian stated that the election "has piqued interest not only because of the size of the task which falls to its victor, but also for the mud slinging and misogyny which has characterised the fight between the candidates." Former Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara made disparaging remarks regarding Koike's age and use of makeup, and characterized Torigoe as a "traitor to his country" for questioning Japanese protection of the Senkaku Islands. Torigoe was attacked in a tabloid magazine with allegations that he seduced a 20-year-old university student ten years previously, in what some viewed as a deliberate smear campaign by his opposition.
|Makoto Sakurai||44||Independent||Founder of Zaitokukai. The election placed him fifth place, with 114,171 votes or 1.74% of the popular vote.|
(Democratic, Communist and Social Democratic, People's Life parties, Tokyo Seikatsusha Network)
(Liberal Democratic Party, Komeito, Party for Japanese Kokoro)
|Former Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications, former governor of Iwate Prefecture|
|Mac Akasaka||67||Independent||Perennial candidate|
|Toshio Yamaguchi||75||Kokumin Shuken no Kai||Former Minister of Labour|
|Masaaki Yamanaka||52||Mirai Sōzō Keiei Jissen Tō|
|Teruki Gotō||33||Independent||Known for his naked election posters|
|Yuriko Koike||64||Independent||Former Minister of Defence|
|Hiroko Nanami||32||Happiness Realization Party|
|Chōzō Nakagawa||60||Independent||Former mayor of Kasai, Hyōgo|
|Takashi Tachibana||48||NHK kara Kokumin wo Mamoru Tō||Former Funabashi city councillor|
- "舛添氏が辞職願＝21日付、政治資金流用で引責―都議会の不信任前に" [Masuzoe submits resignation dated 21st, takes responsibility for misuse of funds before no-confidence vote]. Yahoo Japan. Archived from the original on 15 June 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- Landers, Peter (2016-07-31). "Yuriko Koike Elected Governor of Tokyo, First Woman in Post". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
- Aoki, Mizuho (14 July 2016). "Campaign kicks off for Tokyo governor race". Japan Times. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
- Aoki, Mizuho; Osumi, Magdalena (11 July 2016). "LDP's Masuda gets official Tokyo gubernatorial nod as former commentator Koga weighs DP bid". Japan Times. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
- Osaki, Tomohiro (13 July 2016). "Utsunomiya withdraws from Tokyo gubernatorial race to boost opposition-supported Torigoe". Japan Times. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
- Foster, Martin (2016-07-29). "Tokyo turmoil: race to rule world's largest city mired in sex scandal and misogyny". the Guardian. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
- "Tokyo's ill-tempered election - BBC News". Retrieved 2016-08-01.
- "平成28年7月31日執行東京都知事選挙 立候補者一覧" [31 July 2016 Tokyo Gubernatorial Election - List of Candidates] (PDF). Tokyo Electoral Commission. 14 July 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
- "2016東京都知事選[2016 Tokyo Gubernatorial Election]" (in Japanese). Asahi Shimbun. Retrieved 2017-01-27.