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Tokyo Gov. and Party of Hope leader Yuriko Koike, left, shake hands with the Democratic Party chief Seiji Maehara after a meeting in Tokyo on Oct. 5.
Politics

Koike rejects Democratic Party chief's request to run in Japan's snap election

Largest opposition Party of Hope yet to choose PM candidate

| Japan

TOKYO -- Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike on Thursday reasserted her rejection of Democratic Party leader Seiji Maehara's request for her to run in the upcoming lower-house election as head of a new party, Kibo no To, or Party of Hope.

Maehara made the request during a midday meeting at a Tokyo hotel. The two agreed on the need to pick the party's candidate for prime minister as soon as possible. On Wednesday, Maehara told reporters in the western city of Kyoto the choice needed to be made if Koike was't seeking a seat in parliament herself.

Official campaigning will start Oct. 10 for the Oct. 22 general election.

"I again conveyed to him my intention not to run in the poll," Koike told reporters after the meeting.

"I received fervent requests (from Maehara). But my stance is that I do not have the will to run myself, as I have stated earlier," she added. "I will get ready for the election while maintaining the direction of taking a stand against the Abe administration."

Maehara called the election "a race to choose the administration" and to "select a prime minister."

"We agreed on the need to hold discussions as early as possible to decide (the candidate) if she does not run in the election," he added.

(Nikkei)

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