Tokyo will elect its new governor on February 9, after its previous one resigned over a money scandal.
The election is scheduled for a Sunday, with ballots to be counted on the same day, the city’s election board said. Candidates are to declare themselves on January 23.
No candidate has officially subscribed, but among the possible politicians that might do it there are Hideo Higashikokubaru, a comedian-turned-politician who resigned as a lower house member this month, and education minister Hakubun Shimomura.
The ex-premier Junichiro Koizumi refused to run after minor opposition grouping Your Party asked him, according to the international press.
The former governor of Tokyo, Naoki Inose, 67, resigned recently after admitting that he received an undeclared sum of money – $500,000 from a hospital tycoon before him being elected.
The politician, who was elected a year ago, claims he received the money from the political family behind the huge Tokushukai medical group as an interest-free, personal loan.
Tokyo’s governor is the most senior politician in the metropolis of 13 million people including the city proper, semi-rural districts and even some islands far from the city. He administrates an annual budget of over $60 billion.