The Hokkaido gubernatorial race is already informally underway. Incumbent Harumi Takahashi spoke with leaders of Tomakomai’s business community last Friday about the city’s potential IR bid in connection with her own political future.
Takahashi has already served as Hokkaido’s governor for close to sixteen years, but she is signaling her intention to run for a fifth term which would—if she prevails and completes the term—see her remain in office for a full two decades until 2023.
According to the local media, executives of the Tomakomai Chamber of Commerce & Industry met with Governor Takahashi to discuss their requests, with her proactive support for a Tomakomai IR at the top of their wish list.
Both gubernatorial and prefectural assembly elections are scheduled to be held next spring, and their outcome will likely be decisive for the possibility of an IR bid emerging from Japan’s northernmost prefecture.
Sosei Asada, a 45-year-old healthcare worker, last month became the first to openly declare his candidacy for the gubernatorial post.