Tokyo elects Yuriko Koike as first woman governor
Tokyo elected former Japanese Defence Minister Yuriko Koike as the Japanese capital’s first female governor on Monday.
Koike is set to take charge of the city amid troubled 2020 Olympic Games preparations after a foul-mouthed campaign of misogyny and mudslinging.
Yuriko Koike claimed victory after exit polls and early vote counts pointed to a strong lead for the former defence and environment minister.
Koike, 64, who ran as an independent, came out ahead of her two main rival candidates: former Internal Affairs Minister Hiroya Masuda and journalist Shuntaro Torigoe, state broadcaster NHK reported.
Masuda was recommended by the governing coalition and other parties. Four opposition parties backed Torigoe.
Koike gained over 2.9 million votes, while Masuda obtained nearly 1.8 million, and Torigoe about 1.3 million.
The voter turnout was about 60 per cent, nearly 14 percentage points higher than the previous election two years ago.
Koike became Japan’s first female defence chief when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appointed her to his first Cabinet in 2007.
“I will lead Tokyo politics in an unprecedented manner, a Tokyo you have never seen,” the BBC quoted Koike, as saying.
She graduated from Cairo University in Egypt and was a TV journalist before entering politics.