(UPDATE-4) As soon as voting ended at 8PM, February 9, 2014, "Mr. Yoichi Masuzoe has secured victory" splashed across major news outlets. The sleaze won.
(UPDATE-3) As of 4PM, the voting rate remains well below the previous election, at 24.54%, 11% lower than the previous election, according to Yomiuri Shinbun.
(UPDATE-2) NHK reports that the absentee votes were also 7% less than the last time.
(UPDATE) As of noon on February 9, 2014, the voting rate is 7.86% (men 9.03%, women 6.73%), according to the official Tokyo Metropolitan Election Commission. The same time in the last gubernatorial election, the voting rate was 17.62%.
That's the heaviest snowfall for Tokyo in 20 years, says Asahi Shinbun (2/9/2014).
So much so that someone took out his pair of ski to coast on slushy snow in central Ginza (photo taken by Nikken Shinbun's photographer):
I hear that there is a strict set of rules in Japan's Public Election Law regarding the Internet-based campaign which was hastily complied in 2012. For example, you cannot use the candidate's name (supposedly full name) you support in your tweet on the election day to urge your followers to vote for him.
The turnout will probably be low, benefiting the candidate backed by LDP/Komei/labor union, despite his money scandal (250 million yen, as opposed to ex-Governor Inose's puny 50 million), domestic violence allegations from several of his many wives and girlfriends, non-payment of child alimony to one of his children out of wedlock, lies about taking care of his aging mother, etc., etc., and the latest scandal of bribing the voters in Tokyo with 2020 Tokyo Olympic badges (not for sale).
If he wins, I have a sense that there may be another Tokyo gubernatorial election in the not-to-distant future. Possibly in less than one year.
As for me, I liked many of the policies (120 of them in fact) by this young entrepreneur candidate, including the one about abolishing the minimum wage:
and I would have voted for the former prime minister wearing the green down jacket below, for his strong, fact-based conviction that Tokyo should move beyond nuclear as one of the largest consumers of electricity in Japan, in order to grow and prosper (but he's not the one who's running):