Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Higashikokubaru May Run For Tokyo Governor

From the Mainichi Newspaper
Current Miyazaki Gov. Hideo Higashikokubaru may run in the Tokyo gubernatorial race next spring, according to sources close to the 53-year-old governor.

Higashikokubaru had already announced his decision that he won't run for Miyazaki governor after his first term ends in January, but had not yet disclosed any details about his future plans.

He is already said to be telling those close to him about his determination to address the decentralization of power from central to local governments, saying, "Tokyo is the biggest local jurisdiction in Japan."

When Higashikokubaru announced in September that he would not be running for Miyazaki governor, he revealed that he had come up against the limitations of local government during his dealings with the central government over the handling of the spread of foot-and-mouth disease among livestock -- which severely damaged the prefecture. Moreover, at a press conference on Nov. 16, when asked about his plans after his term in Miyazaki ends, he hinted for the first time the possibility of running for Tokyo governor.

"Becoming a legislator or a governor of a metropolitan area is definitely a consideration," he said.
If he would run it is uncertain he would face four term incumbent Shintaro Ishihara who is expected to run for a fifth term as Tokyo governor.
Many questions linger as to Higashikokubaru's credentials and experience to lead Japan's largest prefecture, muchless his experience in politics being a comedian turned politician just three years ago. Some see this as opportunism and not serious desire to serve the public through political office.

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