LDP leads Koike’s party ahead of Tokyo assembly election: poll

The Liberal Democratic Party is leading Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike’s political group ahead of the upcoming Tokyo assembly election on July 2, according to a Kyodo News poll released Sunday, though nearly half of those surveyed remain undecided.

Seventeen percent of Tokyo residents responding to the telephone survey over the weekend said they would vote for the LDP, while 11% said they would support Tomin First no Kai (group that puts Tokyo residents first), for which Koike serves as special adviser.

But given that 5% support the Komeito party, which is cooperating with Koike’s party in the metropolitan election, the governor’s group is almost evenly matched against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s LDP.

The telephone survey covered 1,623 randomly selected households with eligible voters and received valid responses from 1,016 people on Saturday and Sunday.

The poll showed that 49% have not decided which party they would vote for, while 6% said they plan to vote for the Japanese Communist Party and 3% for the Democratic Party.

How to tackle the stalled relocation of the Tsukiji wholesale market in Tokyo could be a focal issue in the election, as Koike has put the relocation of the aging market known for its fish trading on hold due to concerns about soil and air pollution at the new site in the Toyosu area. The new market had been scheduled to open in November 2016.

The LDP, which heads the central government and has long dominated the metropolitan assembly, has called for an early relocation of the market, but Koike has yet to clarify whether she will make a decision on the relocation issue before the election.

The survey showed 46% of respondents remain undecided on how best to deal with the relocation issue. Twenty-eight percent said the Tsukiji market should be relocated to Toyosu, while 21% called for cancelation of the relocation plan and said the Tsukiji market should be renovated for continued use.

Koike, who formerly served as Japan’s defense minister and environment minister before becoming the first female Tokyo governor in August last year, garnered a high 63% support rating, with only 15% saying they do not support her.

Twenty-five percent said they hope the Tomin First no Kai will one day field a candidate in national politics, while 19% said otherwise and 49% said they do not know.

As for what policies they want the Tokyo metropolitan government to prioritize, 36% cited measures related to public welfare and child-rearing support, while 15% said employment and economic policies and 14% the Tsukiji market relocation issue. Preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games were considered a priority issue by only 7 percent.

The support rate for the LDP stood at 23%, followed by Tomin First no Kai at 7%, the Japanese Communist Party at 6%, the Democratic Party at 4% and Komeito at 4%. Some 44% said they do not support any particular party.




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