Saturday, October 14, 2017

Tracking Koike's Ambition 14

Tracking Koike's ambition, Day 14, 14 October 2017

On the hustings proper

Today on my way to the western Tokyo campus of my university, where I had a few commitments, I was fortunate that the station we pass through to get there happens to be a key campaign spot for the various parties. 

Koike on the road (well, the train)
During the elections for Tokyo Governor last year, this was a popular spot for the opposition parties to gather and speak to the masses (of shoppers passing by, or voters taking up position to actually listen). 

Today, with Koike down in her home town around Kobe, I thought it opportune to observe the Constitutional Democrats here at Kichijoji. 

The Constitutional Democrats are largely made up of the group of previous Democrats who either didn't make the cut for Koike's Kibo no To, or chose not to join because of policy differences. 

Leader Edano, (left) former PM Kan (right)
There was a particular enthusiasm and quite a decent crowd considering the showery weather. No doubt most were waiting for the leader, Edano (who was compared--affectionately--with a wombat last week) who has, what we in Australia would refer to as 'underdog status'. People feel a bit of sympathy for him being left with the non-Kibo rump as it were but it has at least given the new Dems a more defined platform. 

Edano turned up, and also on the platform (and on the proportional party ticket), former Prime Minister Kan. The gathering also gave me an opportunity to meet another female candidate, Yoshida Harumi, a Uni of Birmingham graduate, former political adviser, daughter of a fruiterer (emphasised in her profile) and cancer survivor (also highlighted in her profile). 

Yoshida, greeting supporters
She is standing in one of the more competitive seats, Tokyo 8, which includes six candidates, a 50/50 gender divide. The other two women include experienced former Dem from the upper house, Madoka Yoriko, and Osanai Fumiko for the JCP. The Kibo no To candidate, Kiuchi Takatane is a former Dem as well, a three-pointed contest then before we also take into account the the LDP candidate (and incumbent) is Ishihara Nobuteru, LDP heavyweight and one of the targets of Koike's opprobrium...

So although Koike wasn't here physically today, she has her fingerprints all over this particular electorate. I think it will be one to watch very closely next Sunday night to gauge just how Koike's gamble has played out. 

Koike will be back in Tokyo tomorrow. Edano is heading to the regions.