Sunday, October 15, 2017

Tracking Koike's Ambition 15

Tracking Koike's ambition, Day 15, 15 October 2017

Koike was back on the hustings in Tokyo today, starting early to cover as many districts as
possible. I looked at her schedule and opted to head to Meguro station, I was interested to see what sort of crowd she might draw outside here base (Ikebukuro, option 1) and without a lot of passing traffic (Shinjuku, option 2). 

Shishido Chie at Narimasu
Along the way, ay my local station, the local Kibo no To candidate, Shishido Chie, was undertaking a bit of a meet and greet. Naturally I stopped to chat, take a pic (not a very good one) and told her of my work and research. There will be a follow-up call. I remain upbeat about Japan's female politicians and candidates, despite the hurdles, a number of young women are stepping up. It is exciting. 

And so it was off to Meguro, for a 2.30pm stump speech. It is raining and unseasonably cold at the moment. Koike is traversing the country in support of her candidates. I was a bit tired just running around after pollies in Tokyo...the stamina these leaders have (Edano, the JCP's Koike, among others) is quite something. 

Koike was running late, 2.30pm became 3.00pm; she has a number of minders and arrives in a separate car from the candidates and their trucks. Up the ladder, on top of the truck, grasp the mike and speak to a fairly friendly crowd for 20 minutes. 


When you learn the main attraction is running 30 mins late

Perhaps it was the weather, perhaps it was the station, perhaps it was the wait, but crowd numbers were in the low hundreds; many wearing the signature green, some with green balloons. Quite a few police officers. More than just passing traffic, most did stop to listed. Koike enjoyed warm applause from supporters and no heckling today, compared with yesterday. 



Rain, or shine

Urging her supporters to hope
Koike talks in terms of hope and change, she is taking the momentum (and speeches) form her successful Governor bid to the national stage but there is also the sense that there just hasn't been time to get the party organised, to get it over the line. The candidate she was supporting in Meguro, Fukuda Mineyuki, was previously an LDP representative, he quit and joined Koike's party. In contrast to Tokyo 8 (yesterday's blog) this electorate, Tokyo 5, has just three candidates, all men, all in their 50s and representing Kibo, the Constitutional Dems and the LDP. It is a little bit like the electorate time forgot.

After twenty minutes, Koike was down the ladder and bundled into the van to go to the next stop. There was no meet and greet with the supporters (disappointing one or two standing near me), obviously time has been a factor. 

And away

Her supporters are nothing if not enthusiastic. Older women mostly in the crowd today, similar to last year's campaign. Will it get her and her candidates over the line? We will know this time next week.