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Interview with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike

SNA (Tokyo) — The SNA sits down for a short, exclusive English-language interview with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.

Tokyo Governor’s Biggest Challenge

Koike: Everything. Everything, because since I’m a governor, I have to manage everything for the sake of the people of Tokyo. I’m preparing to establish Tokyo as a safe city with diversity and a smart city. A smart city means eco-friendly and energy saving. Waste management is also one of the agendas in the issue of environment—to keep clean air and also clean water. I’m preparing to establish a smart city as a financial center. So those are all related to people or citizens of Tokyo directly—economy, social welfare, education, a good environment, and many others.

The safe city is also very important. Six years ago, part of Japan was struck by a heavy earthquake and tsunami. We have to prepare for the forthcoming earthquake or natural disasters as well. Also, as a former Minister of Defense, the East Asian security is very important. We have the DPRK as our neighbor and we do not know what may happen or what they will decide under such a dictatorship, so we have to prepare for the worst.

Problems Facing Olympics Preparations

Koike: Well, first of all, financial problems because many previous games have left some debts. Some venues were not used after the games. I am thinking how those wonderful venues would be used even after the Tokyo 2020 games.

Governor Koike’s Political Ambitions

Koike: Since I’m a governor, I am now concentrating on Tokyo metropolitan issues. This is my priority and this is why I was elected by three million voters.

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