Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Monday that the central government will keenly watch to see how newly elected Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto goes about implementing administrative reforms.
Hashimoto, 42, defeated incumbent Mayor Kunio Hiramatsu, 63, on a platform of promising to consolidate the administrative frameworks of the city and the prefecture to create a new Osaka to compete with Tokyo and other major cities around the world. Ichiro Matsui, 47, an ally of Hashimoto, won the gubernatorial election.
Fujimura told a news conference that both victories were a sign that voters wanted change, NHK reported. He said that the central government is willing to discuss with Hashimoto how he intends to make Osaka into a metropolis with similar administrative functions as Tokyo.
Tokyo Gov Shintaro Ishihara told reporters that Hashimoto needs to streamline the bureaucracy. He added that if Osaka doesn't prosper, it will negatively affect Tokyo and the country will sink, NHK reported.
Hashimoto indicated Monday that if the central government and major political parties don't back his plan to unify the dual administrative functions of Osaka -- which requires a revision to the Local Autonomy Law -- his party may field candidates in the next lower house election.
Hashimoto is backed by his regional Osaka Ishin No Kai (Restoration Group), which has a majority in the Osaka prefectural assembly and Osaka municipal assembly.
Meanwhile, ruling Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Azuma Koshiishi said that although Hashimoto's victory reflects voters' discontent with existing political parties, he did not think it would have an impact on national politics, NHK reported.© Japan Today