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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 January 29 - February 4  > Utsunomiya: I will make Tokyo ‘number-one’ city for general public
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2014 January 29 - February 4 [TOKYO]

Utsunomiya: I will make Tokyo ‘number-one’ city for general public

January 31, 2014
Utsunomiya Kenji, a candidate in the February 9 Tokyo gubernatorial election, said on January 30 at a news conference held by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan that he will work to make Tokyo the “number-one” city in the world where the general public can live without anxieties.

The former president of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations is backed by the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party.

Utsunomiya noted that as a lawyer he has worked to assist those suffering high interest rates associate with loans and helped to force the national government to remove the so-called “gray zone” in interest rates (the spread between rate caps set in the Interest Restriction Law and the Capital Subscription Law which was abused by consumer finance companies). He also cited the fact that he helped to bring legal relief to victims of terror attacks by the Aum Shinrikyo cult.

“Taking advantage of my legal expertise working on behalf of common people, I will work to change the metropolitan politics and create a hopeful city where every citizen can work and live comfortably,” he said.

The lawyer also pointed out that during the past 14 years of rule by former right-wing governor Ishihara Shintaro and his successor Inose Naoki, the number of the elderly on the waiting list for special nursing homes exceeded 43,000 and children on the waiting list for daycare centers reached 20,000. He added that not one municipal housing unit was built during the same period of time. “If elected as governor, I will construct more high-quality nursing-care facilities and daycare centers in order to do away with waiting lists. And I will address the affordable housing by building new public apartment complexes,” he stressed.

In response to a question that he has no experience in the political world, Utsunomiya said, “By persuading not only opposition but also ruling parties, I could finally make the government eliminate the ‘gray-zone’ interest rates and introduce a relief system for victims of the Aum crimes. I believe that I can get support from the metropolitan assembly as well by explaining my proposals based on fact and reason.”

Past related articles:
> JCP to support pacifist lawyer in Tokyo gubernatorial election [January 7, 2014]
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