Tokyo Governor Koike set to win re-election, exit poll shows

By Tim Kelly

TOKYO (Reuters) – Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has won re-election to a third term on Sunday, fending off challenges from dozens of candidates vying to unseat the ruling Liberal Democratic Party-backed incumbent, according to an exit poll from public broadcaster NHK.

Koike, 71, got more than 40% of the vote, followed by Shinji Ishimaru, 41, a former mayor of a town in Hiroshima prefecture, who was in second place, the exit poll showed. Renho, 56, who was supported by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ), came in third.

A victory for Koike could help embattled Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida resist calls from within the LDP to step down as public support for him and his ruling group ebbs amid a political donations scandal.

With its popularity waning, the LDP in April lost three parliamentary by-elections to the CDPJ as well as the vote for the governorship of nearby Shizuoka prefecture, which was won by Yasutomo Suzuki, a candidate backed by the opposition group.

A total of 56 candidates contested the election for the governorship of Japan’s capital, which is home to 13.5 million people.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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