Naoki Inose Wins Tokyo Governor Race After 5 Years as Deputy

Naoki Inose won election as the leader of the Japanese capital of Tokyo, the city’s government said today, after serving for more than five years as deputy to his predecessor, Shintaro Ishihara.

Inose ran in yesterday’s election as an independent, backed by his former boss and by the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, which won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections the same day. Ishihara, 80, won a seat in the lower house of parliament as a member of the Japan Restoration Party, according to national broadcaster NHK.

Inose, a writer and historian, pledged during his campaign to replace aging power plants and improve the subway network in Tokyo, which has a $1 trillion economy that accounts for almost a fifth of Japan’s gross domestic product. He will also continue a bid to host the Olympics in 2020 and to make Tokyo’s Haneda airport an international hub, according to his website.

Inose, 66, faced competition from at least seven other candidates. They included attorney Kenji Utsunomiya, a former head of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations; former LDP science minister Takashi Sasagawa; and Shigefumi Matsuzawa, a former governor of Kanagawa prefecture.

Ishihara last month merged his political party with the Japan Restoration Party of Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, which was projected by NHK to win 50 seats in parliament. Ishihara’s proposal in April to buy a chain of uninhabited islands also claimed by China ultimately prompted Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s government to do so in September, sparking violent anti-Japan demonstrations in China.

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