TOKYO, July 31 (UPI) — Former Japanese Defense Minister Yuriko Koike is poised to become Tokyo’s first female governor, with local media forecasting her as the winner after polls closed at 11 p.m. local time.
One of her first challenges will be the financial issues the city faces in preparing to host the 2020 Olympic Games, BBC reported. That same issue and scandals connected to it forced the city’s last two governors to resign.
The 64-year-old Koike, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, drew wide-ranging support that crossed party lines, Asahi.com reported.
“I will lead Tokyo politics in an unprecedented manner, a Tokyo you have never seen,” Koike, said, amid cheering supporters. “While feeling the weight of this result, I want to thoroughly push the metropolitan government forward as the new governor.”
All together, 21 candidates packed the ballot for the governor’s spot, which oversees Tokyo and numerous other cities in the prefecture. Koike’s main competition came from journalist Shuntaro Torigoe and politician Hiroya Masuda.
One of the new governor’s first responsibilities will be to travel to Rio de Janeiro at the end of the 2016 Summer Olympics to accept the Olympic flag on behalf of her nation.