Location Japan Japan

Tokyo elects first female city governor

Tokyo elected the country’s former defence minister, Yuriko Koike, as its first female governor on Sunday, media exit polls show.

“I will lead Tokyo politics in an unprecedented manner, a Tokyo you have never seen,” Koike, 64, told cheering supporters in a hoarse voice after two weeks of campaigning.

Koike will be dealing with Tokyo’s troubled preparations for the 2020 summer Olympics, which have been plagued by a series of embarrassing scandals and soaring costs.

Tokyo’s last governor resigned amid financial scandals.

Koike’s four-year term will extend until just after the Olympic Games start and her performance in the run-up will be scrutinised closely.

A key challenge of her governorship will be getting to grips with swelling preparation costs for the Games, which are seen as possibly double or triple the reported original forecast of 730bn yen ($7.14bn).

Plans for the Tokyo Games have been overshadowed by allegations of corruption, and French prosecutors have launched an investigation into alleged bribes linked to Tokyo’s bid.

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