National politics rarely turn on a local government election in a single metropolis — but the defeat of a ruling Liberal Democratic Party candidate in the Yokohama mayoral race on Aug. 22 may prove to be the rare exception.
The most immediate issue is how the loss by Hachiro Okonogi will affect Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s chances in next month’s Liberal Democratic Party leadership election. Coming after a string of disappointing losses for LDP candidates under Suga’s leadership, the rout in Yokohama is particularly alarming given that it is Suga’s adopted hometown and electoral constituency. Ruling coalition candidates are increasingly apprehensive about contesting this autumn’s general election with Suga as the face of the government.
The above excerpt was originally published in Nikkei Asia.
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