April 4, 2017 5:52 am JST

Koike seeks allies' help to win legislative control

Tokyo governor faces fish market relocation issue as election nears

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike.

TOKYO -- Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike wants to build a ruling coalition in the Metropolitan Assembly from members of her local political group and candidates from other parties when Tokyoites go to the polls in July, she told The Nikkei on Monday.

This could involve coordinating with parties like Komeito, and is a departure from Koike's previous ambition to win a simple majority from the Tomin First no Kai, a group she effectively leads and whose name promises to put "Tokyoites First."

"The smaller electoral districts are, the harder" winning becomes, she said, contrasting the metropolitan race with national Diet elections. "My main goal is to push reform forward."

The proposed relocation of the famed Tsukiji fish market continues to dog the governor. Koike last November suspended plans to move the market to a site in Tokyo's Toyosu area amid concern over possible contamination there. According to a timeline laid out then, a decision on the relocation could come this summer at the earliest. The "broad outline" of that timeline "has not changed," Koike said Monday. Renovating the current facility also should be an option, she said.

A special committee convened by the metropolitan government to weigh the relocation met for the first time Monday. While Koike noted the government was working toward a "speedy" resolution, she did not say when the body would reach a conclusion on the issue.

The governor opposed putting the market question to a referendum as some have suggested, saying that could sow "confusion" ahead of the July assembly race.

(Nikkei)

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