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ASIA / PACIFIC
August 15, 2016
THE ASIAN REPORTER n Page 3
Tokyo elects first female governor to lead city into Olympics
CLEAN & GREEN. Newly elected Tokyo gover-
nor Yuriko Koike speaks during her first press confer-
ence at the Tokyo Metropolitan government office in
Tokyo. Tokyo has elected its first female governor to
lead the city while it prepares to host the 2020 Olym-
pics. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
By Yuri Kageyama
AP Business Writer
OKYO — Tokyo has elected its first
female governor to lead the city
while it prepares to host the 2020
Olympics, as voters turned to a leader
promising clean politics after two
predecessors who resigned over money
Yuriko Koike was announced the winner
by Japanese media as soon as voting
ended, based on her definitive lead in exit
polls. She will take charge of a sprawling
capital with a population of more than 13
million and an annual budget bigger than
“I am pushing for a Tokyo where people’s
lives will be better, and everyone can shine
— men and women, children and adults,
the elderly and the disabled,” Koike said,
appearing at her campaign office, bowing
deeply and waving to cheering supporters.
Koike, 64, had previously served as
defense minister, Japan’s first woman in
that post. But she ran in the Tokyo election
without the official backing of the ruling
pro-U.S., pro-business Liberal Democratic
Party. During her campaign, she wore
green to symbolize her freshness, and
asked her supporters to also wear the color
and wave green fans and banners.
One of Koike’s first jobs was going to the
Rio de Janeiro Olympics as the repre-
sentative of the city that’s hosting the next
Yoichi Masuzoe, the former governor,
resigned in June after acknowledging
exorbitant, though not illegal, spending of
taxpayer money, including for hotel suites
and expensive artwork. The governor
before him also resigned in disgrace.
Planning for the 2020 Tokyo games has
run into problems, including ballooning
costs, the scrapping of the initial main sta-
dium design, and delays in construction.
The Tokyo Olympics logo had to be
redesigned after the initial choice was
The games are a centerpiece for Japan’s
revival hopes as the world’s third-largest
economy strives to keep growth going,
largely based on monetary policies after
more than a decade of stagnation.
Tokyo makes up a fifth of Japan’s gross
domestic product, and is home to about
half of the nation’s major companies. The
city is hoping to showcase Japan’s prized
vehicles, during the games.
The other major candidates for governor
were journalist Shuntaro Torigoe, the
opposition candidate, and former rural
governor Hiroya Masuda. Masuda, a
former ministry bureaucrat, represented
the official ruling party candidate.
Torigoe, a cancer survivor who is
married, was embroiled in a sex scandal
reported in a popular tabloid magazine
during the campaign period. He denies the
Public broadcaster NHK reported that
Koike had won over both independents
and ruling party supporters.
After her win was announced, Koike
promised that she would investigate what
had happened regarding Masuzoe’s
exorbitant spending, and that she would
decide what needs to be done to prevent a
She also said she would work to fix the
longtime problem over the lack of childcare
facilities to help women pursue equal
acknowledged that her being a woman was
one way voters were looking for change.
“I promise a city hall that has never been
seen before,” Koike said.
South Korea fines, halts sales of Volkswagen cars for forged tests
By Youkyung Lee
AP Business Writer
EOUL, South Korea — South Korea has fined
Volkswagen 17.8 billion won ($16 million) and
suspended sales of 80 VW models, alleging the
German carmaker fabricated documents on emissions or
noise level tests.
Ministry of Environment (MOE) official Hong Dong-kon
said the government revoked Volkswagen’s certifications
because submitting forged documents to authorities is
against the law.
The South Korean government alleges that since 2007,
Volkswagen AG has sold 83,000 units of Volkswagen,
Audi, and Bentley cars using the forged documents,
including some models of the Golf, Jetta, Beetle, and
“Forging documents is a clear violation of the law that
shakes the foundation of the auto certification system, so
it is reasonable to revoke the certifications,” Hong told
reporters. He said the measure would not affect the
owners of those cars.
Hong said Volkswagen likely forged documents to
expedite imports of its cars. When importing the Audi A7
to South Korea, for example, the carmaker submitted the
test results for the A6, which it has not sold here.
Volkswagen officials said the company had made
“revisions” in the documents during a hearing, according
to the ministry’s statement. But it objected to the sales
ban, saying it was “excessive” because the vehicles still
met the emissions and noise level standards. It normally
takes three months to get vehicles certified by the
government before sales.
Audi Volkswagen Korea apologized and said resolving
the matter as soon as possible is its “top priority.”
“We regret that MOE has imposed the sanctions against
our vehicles,” the company said in an official statement.
“We are currently reviewing the MOE’s decision and
considering all available options in deciding how to move
The move is the latest penalty slapped on the German
carmaker in South Korea since the diesel emissions
scandals last year.
In November, South Korean authorities fined
Volkswagen 14.1 billion won ($12.7 million) and banned
sales of its diesel vehicles for outfitting them with
software that distorted results of emissions tests. That
issue is still under investigation.