Tokyo, July 29 (Jiji Press)–Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has vowed to support former National Public Safety Commission Chairman Hachiro Okonogi in the Aug. 22 mayoral election in Yokohama, south of Tokyo.
“I will offer all-out support” to Okonogi, Suga said in an interview with Okonogi published in a community newspaper on Thursday.
Following the remark, the Yokohama election’s result may affect Suga’s grip on power, observers said.
Suga said there is no better candidate than Okonogi to become the face of Yokohama.
In the interview, Okonogi reiterated his opposition to the city’s bid to host a casino-featuring integrated resort, referring to insufficient support from city residents.
Suga, who has been eager to open an integrated resort in Yokohama, made no mention of the matter.
At a press conference in Yokohama on Thursday, Okonogi said he believes the prime minister has accepted his position against a possible integrated resort in the city.
The Yokohama mayoral race is set to have other candidates including Takeharu Yamanaka, a former professor of Yokohama City University, and Yasuo Tanaka, novelist and former governor of the central Japan prefecture of Nagano, as well as incumbent Mayor Fumiko Hayashi.