TOKYO, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) — Japan's top government spokesman said Monday that any punishment for new Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike's defiance of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) would primarily lie with the party's Tokyo chapter.
Yoshihide Suga, chief cabinet secretary, told a press conference Monday that he was sorry for the defeat of former internal affairs minister Hiroya Masuda who was backed by Japan's ruling coalition in Sunday's Tokyo gubernatorial race.
Regarding Yuriko Koike's running the race without party consent, Suga, also an LDP lawmaker, said any punishment would primarily lie with the LDP Tokyo chapter. He also said it was necessary to work with Koike to ensure the success of the 2020 Olympics.
"We need to coordinate (with the governor) for the good of the nation's people," he said. Hakubun Shimomura, special adviser to LDP president and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said Monday that Koike's run was an "anti-party act" and that the party will hold a committee meeting to debate possible punishment such as expulsion from the LDP.
Koike, however, pledged Monday to work with the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly members to achieve her policy goals, while the assembly is dominated by the ruling LDP and its partner Komeito. 64-year-old Koike, former lawmaker with the ruling LDP, won Sunday's Tokyo gubernatorial race by a large margin without endorsement of her party and became Tokyo's first female governor.