All Monday papers reported extensively on the victories of former Osaka Governor Matsui and former Osaka Mayor Yoshimura in Sunday’s mayoral and gubernatorial elections, respectively, saying that local voters endorsed the two politicians’ bid to push through their “Osaka metropolis” initiative. The two leaders were successful in their extraordinary gambit of swapping portfolios aimed at achieving a breakthrough in the stalled local administrative overhaul initiative in the face of deep-seated opposition across the political spectrum, including the LDP and the Japanese Communist Party. Candidates backed by Matsui and Yoshimura also won a majority in the prefectural assembly election yesterday.
The dailies also reported that 10 out of the 11 winners of Sunday’s nationwide gubernatorial elections were effectively affiliated with the LDP, noting that the opposition bloc was not able to capitalize on internal divisions within the ruling party over gubernatorial candidates in some of the races. According to the articles, the loss of the opposition’s candidate in the Hokkaido gubernatorial election was particularly shocking to them since the Japanese Communist Party joined hands with other parties to field a unified opposition candidate to capture the top political portfolio in the prefecture, a former stronghold of the defunct DPJ. The papers emphasized that the opposition camp needs to conduct a thorough review of its campaign strategy in the run-up to the Upper House election slated for July.