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Governor elections held in Tokyo

Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 01:18

Feb.9 - Voters in Tokyo go to the polls to elect a new governor in a race seen as a verdict on the use of nuclear power. Sarah Toms reports.

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Even Japan's overnight snowfall did not deter Tokyo residents from casting their ballots to elect a new governor. In the two week campaign 16 men have been battling it out to become the next chief executive of the city of 13 million people. Opinion polls suggest this man -- Yoichi Masuzoe -- a former TV presenter and cabinet minister supported by the ruling party is in a strong lead. A Masuzoe victory would be a huge relief for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe...who suffered a recent setback in another election. Masuzoe's closest rivals are former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa backed by this popular ex-PM Junichiro Koizumi....and also the lawyer Kenji Utsunomiya. Both these candidates are campaigning on an anti-nuclear platform. Public support for nuclear technology has waned since a tsunami caused a disaster at Fukushima in March 2011. And the opposition had hoped to make this vote a referendum on the prime minister's pro energy stance. But surveys are showing that despite nuclear fears, voters believe that energy policy is not as important an issue as jobs and the economy.

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Governor elections held in Tokyo

Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 01:18

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