Masuzoe wins Tokyo governor election

Updated: 2014-02-10 09:54


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TOKYO - Former Japanese Health Minister Yoichi Masuzoe won the Tokyo gubernatorial election on Sunday to be next governor, local media reported.  

Masuzoe, 65, secured the victory after beating 15 other candidates, including former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa and former Air Self-Defense Force chief Toshio Tamogami.  

He joined the race as an independent supported by the Liberal Democratic Party-led ruling coalition.  

The election had been seen as a referendum on the future of Japan's nuclear energy and a test of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plan to restart Japan's nuclear reactors after the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 forced a suspension and invoked a policy debate.  

Masuzoe, who served as the minister of health, labor and welfare from 2007 to 2009 under Shinzo Abe's first premiership, opposes any rush to eliminate all nuclear plants, while Hosokawa, supported by former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, calls for a permanent end to nuclear energy in Japan.  

During his campaign, Masuzoe pledged to make the 2020 Tokyo Olympics "the best ever in Olympic history."  

He also vowed to raise the ratio of renewable energy in Tokyo's total energy consumption to 20 percent from the current 6 percent.