"FCCJ Tokyo gubernatorial candidate series"
12:00-13:00 Friday, January 31, 2014
Yoichi Masuzoe, Tokyo gubernatorial candidate
A scholar-turned-politician, Yoichi Masuzoe, 65, is taking another crack at the Tokyo governorship following his failed bid in 1999, this time backed by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its coalition partner the New Komeito Party.
A native of Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, he graduated from The University of Tokyo in 1971 and later studied at the University of Paris and University of Geneva as a research fellow. After a ten year stint as an associate professor of political science at his alma mater, he founded the Masuzoe Institute of Political Economy in 1989 and became a fixture on political talk shows.
He was first elected to the House of Councillors in 2001 and reelected in 2007. He served as health, labor and welfare minister under the governments of Prime Ministers Shinzo Abe, Yasuo Fukuda and Taro Aso from 2007 to 2009. He left the LDP in 2010 and established the New Renaissance Party. He recently resigned from that party too in preparation for his current run for Tokyo Governor.
In the current election campaign, Masuzoe is vowing to make the Japanese capital with a population of 13 million the world's No. 1 by promising full-fledged efforts to successfully host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics while taking effective disaster-prevention, social security, employment and educational measures. He favors agradual phase-out of nuclear energy and supports a steady shift to renewable energy sources.