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Tokyo gubernatorial candidates appeal to voters on final Sunday before election

Voters listen to a candidate speak on the final Sunday before the Tokyo gubernatorial election, in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, on July 24, 2016. (Mainichi)

Amidst the summer heat, the primary candidates in the Tokyo gubernatorial race used the final Sunday before the election to push their positions to the electorate as they held speeches throughout Tokyo.

The maximum temperature in central Tokyo on July 24 was 29 degrees Celsius. While the rainy season this year is dragging on in the Kanto region longer than usual, and the day was a muggy one, it was blessed with clear skies.

One candidate, journalist Shuntaro Torigoe, 76, chose the Ginza and Shinjuku districts of Tokyo for his speech sites. Renho, acting leader of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP), showed up to support Torigoe, and other supporters including university students took the microphone to call for resolving educational, labor-related and social issues. Percussion instruments were also played to liven up the event.

Former Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Hiroya Masuda, 64, spoke to leisure-seekers at the trail entrance to Mount Takao, which was given the top-level three-star rating in a Japan guidebook by French company Michelin. Nobuteru Ishihara, minister in charge of economic revitalization and chairman of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)'s Tokyo chapter, and others joined Masuda as he toured primarily in the Tama region. Masuda set foot in farm fields in the area, where he emphasized his intentions to promote agriculture.

Former Minister of Defense Yuriko Koike, 64, held speeches in popular spots in central Tokyo, vigorously moving between the areas of Sugamo, Kameido, Nihonbashi and Yurakucho. Despite a lack of organizational support, her speeches on July 24 were joined by former House of Representatives member Takashi Sasagawa and her friend Takashi Kawamura, mayor of Nagoya.

The vote for Tokyo governor is to be held on July 31.

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