On 14 March, former city council member Akira Yanagimoto announced his candidacy for mayor of Osaka in the so-called “Osaka Double Election” scheduled for 7 April. The Nikkei reported that Yanagimoto was asked by the Liberal Democratic Party to run.
Also representing the LDP in the Osaka gubernatorial election is Tadakazu Konishi, former vice-governor, to oppose the Ishin party’s duo whose main platform is the Osaka Metropolis plan.
Yanagimoto told media groups in Osaka city, “I have decided to run for mayor. I hope that I can win and finally put an end to the Osaka Metropolis plan.”
Yanagimoto, a former employee of Kansai Electric Power Co, Inc, first ran for office as a city council member in 1999. He served for five terms and is known as the vanguard of the Osaka Metropolis plan opposition.
He lost to Hirofumi Yoshimura in the 2015 city mayoral election and originally planned to run for the LDP in the election of House of Councilors to represent Osaka. Instead, he will be facing off against Ichiro Matsui for mayor.