JCP to back Koike in Tokyo governorship election in April
Friday 04th February, 03:23 AM JST
The Japanese Communist Party will endorse former lawmaker Akira Koike in the Tokyo gubernatorial election in April, political sources said Thursday. Koike, 50, who serves as the party’s chief policymaker even after losing his upper house seat, is soon expected to declare his candidacy as an independent backed by a JCP-led group in the April 10 election, the sources said.
Koike, who served as a JCP member in the House of Councillors from 1998 to 2010, ran in the July 2010 upper house election from the Tokyo constituency but failed to seize a seat. Koike is currently a member of the party’s standing executive committee and well known for appearing in TV talk shows and serving as a party spokesman at news conferences.
Tokyo Gov Shintaro Ishihara, 78, who is currently serving his third four-year term in office, has yet to declare if he will seek a fourth term. Speculations are rife that former Miyazaki Gov Hideo Higashikokubaru, a comedian-turned politician, will also run in the election.