On August 31, Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party) representative and Osaka Mayor Ichiro Matsui welcomed Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga’s decision to enter the race to become the next president of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), commenting that he would like the LDP to “make an early decision on the successor to the Abe administration amid the emergency situation over the new coronavirus.”
Matsui reflected on the Abe administration’s support for the campaign to host the 2025 World Exposition in Osaka, Kansai and Osaka’s hosting of the G20 Summit meeting in June 2019, saying that he coordinated with Suga on such projects and “welcomes” his decision to run.
Matsui also said that it “makes sense to seek a public mandate on the new administration.” He emphasized that he will aim to hold a referendum to merge Osaka into four autonomous wards on the same date as a Lower House election, if the new prime minister decides to hold a Lower House election around Nov. 1, the date scheduled for the referendum. Matsui said that a same-day election would reduce “costs and manpower” and that a “higher voter turnout” would enable him to govern based on the will of the people. (Abridged)