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Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike speaks at the reception of an IOC project review meeting in Tokyo on Oct. 3. (Photo by Masayuki Terazawa)
Politics

Koike's new party announces 192 candidates

Tokyo Gov.'s Party of Hope adds 109 from Democratic Party

KENTARO IWAMOTO, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

TOKYO -- Yuriko Koike's newly established Kibo no To, or Party of Hope, on Tuesday announced 192 candidates for the general election on Oct. 22, including one specifically for the proportional representation list, while reiterating the Tokyo governor would not run herself.

The party accepted candidates from the Democratic Party running on their ticket, having earlier agreed to a de facto merger. Of the 192, 109 have come over from the Democrats and 52 were Diet members before the lower house was dissolved on Sept. 28, according to the party.

The Party of Hope will announce additional candidates before campaigning officially gets underway on Oct. 10.

Party members and incumbent lower house lawmakers Masaru Wakasa and Goshi Hosono, as well as the Democrats' Koichiro Genba spoke to reporters at a news conference in Tokyo.

The candidate list distributed at the conference did not include names for two of the 25 single-constituencies in the capital.

Asked about the possibility of Koike standing in one of the two constituencies, Wakasa said "[As already stated,] she denies she will run in the election." 

Koike, who was not present, had told reporters Tuesday that there was "100% no possibility" of her running.

The Party of Hope announces its candidates for the general election on Oct. 22.

Wakasa also said that his party was less likely to field candidates in constituencies where Komeito would be running. Komeito is the junior coalition partner to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party in the Diet, but has a different partnership with Koike's party in the Tokyo Assembly.

While over 100 Democratic Party candidates had been accepted by the Party of Hope, some were turned away, Genba said.

Genba, whose name was not on the list, said "I feel pain when I think about those who were turned down." On the other hand, he stressed those who were accepted hold virtually the same views on policy as Koike's party.

Looking back at the split in his party, Genba said that the Democrats had been "too left-leaning" to take over the reins of government.

Wakasa said the Party of Hope would possibly field candidates in the same constituencies as Democrats who have chosen to join the new Constitutional Democratic Party.

A total of 465 people will be elected to the lower house -- 289 from single-seat constituencies and 176 by proportional representation.

The goal for Abe's ruling coalition is to secure at least half, or 233.

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