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Japan election: Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike attempts to seize centre ground

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Japan election: Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike attempts to seize centre ground

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Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has attempted to firmly place her new party in the centre ground of Japanese politics ahead of the country’s upcoming election later this month.

Using a golfing metaphor, the former TV presenter and defence minister said her Party of Hope offered voters a “middle of the fairway” choice.

Koike has emerged as a serious challenger to Japan’s current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his conservative LDP party following his decision to call the snap October 22 poll.

The pair clashed on Sunday over economic policy during a TV debate.

Koike’s party is attempting to field enough candidates to win a majority in Japan’s powerful lower house parliament, though she has repeatedly stressed she will not stand for office herself.

Shinzo Abe called the election last month amid amid a rebound in his approval ratings and the ongoing North Korea nuclear crisis.