Record eight candidates confirmed to run in Yokohama mayoral election

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Yokohama city announced its final list of mayoral election candidates on Sunday, with the eight people running representing the most in the citys history.

The candidates, in order of registration, include former Yokohama City Council member Masataka Ota (75), former Nagano governor Yasuo Tanaka (65), former Chairman of the National Safety Commission Hachiro Okonogi (56), fisheries wholesaler president Yoshikazu Tsubokura (70), former member of the House of Representatives Mineyuki Fukuda (57), former Yokohama City University professor Takeharu Yamanaka (48), incumbent mayor Fumiko Hayashi (75) and former Kanagawa governor Shigefumi Matsuzawa (63).

Only Hayashi and Fukuda are in favor of pursuing development of an IR at Yokohamas Yamashita Pier, with the other six having confirmed their fierce opposition in the lead-up to the election.

The LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) has been promoting an IR bid, so when supported candidate Okonogi expressed that he would kill the project if he wins, the party switched to a free election with no recommended candidates.

There is a conservative divide between support for Okonogi and Hayashi, but Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has expressed support for Okonogi and 30 of the 36 Yokohama city council members belonging to the party also support Okonogi.

The future of a Yokohama IR is riding on this mayoral election. In addition, at least a 25% majority of the votes is required to win and with so many candidates there is certainly the possibility of a reelection.