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  DPJ bigwig [Naoto] Kan under pressure to run in Tokyo gubernatorial race
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ContributorRalphie 
Last EditedRalphie  Feb 22, 2007 10:32pm
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News DateThursday, February 22, 2007 04:30:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionNaoto Kan, the second-in-command in the largest opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), has come under mounting pressure to run in the upcoming Tokyo gubernatorial race in a bid to unseat Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, party insiders said.

A group of DPJ members of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly asked DPJ leader Ichiro Ozawa to field a "candidate who can win" with 60-year-old Kan in mind. Kan himself is reluctant to run in the election.

A majority of DPJ assembly members say only Kan can compete with Ishihara. DPJ deputy leader Yoriko Madoka, who heads the party's Tokyo chapter, Yoshio Hachiro, the DPJ's chief election strategist, and other high-ranking party members agreed Wednesday to ask Kan to run in the race.

Architect Kisho Kurokawa has declared on his homepage that he will run in the election. "I'll run unless Gov. Shintaro Ishihara declines his candidacy. I'll accept support from any political party."

He pledges that he will decline a salary, serve only one four-year term and cancel Tokyo's bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.
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