Opposition lawmaker Renho to run for Tokyo governor

Renho, an Upper House lawmaker from the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party, has announced she will run in the Tokyo gubernatorial election this summer.

Renho made the announcement at a news conference on Monday at her party's headquarters in Tokyo.

She said the public wants to "reset" the current Tokyo administration led by Governor Koike Yuriko. She said Koike supports keeping the main ruling Liberal Democratic Party afloat, despite its money scandals.

Renho stressed that it is her duty to respond to such calls from citizens.

Renho criticized the incumbent governor, asking what has become of Koike's previous election promise to eliminate seven problems facing the Japanese capital.

She said the problems include workers leaving their jobs to take care of elderly family members, the culture of overworking, and overcrowded commuter trains. She said none of these problems have been resolved.

Renho said the origin of her own politics is about making reforms. She said the fruits of reforms will in turn fund policies.

She expressed her resolve to implement policies that will serve the interests of the socially disadvantaged.

Renho also said she will run as an independent. She said she wants to gain the support of those who love Tokyo and oppose the politics of the LDP and Governor Koike.

Renho is 56 years old. The TV anchor-turned politician is presently serving her fourth term as an Upper House member of the Tokyo constituency. She was first elected in 2004.

She served as minister for administrative reform when the now-defunct Democratic Party was in power. She also led an opposition party that took over from the Democratic Party for about a year through 2017.

The Tokyo gubernatorial election will take place in July. Koike is now making arrangements to seek a third term.

More than 20 others intend to run in the race.