Japan's ruling party Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmaker Yuriko Koike speaks during an interview at her office in Tokyo March 16, 2009. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao/Files
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Veteran politician Yuriko Koike was elected Sunday as Tokyo's first woman governor, partial results showed, and immediately vowed to get a grip on the megacity's troubled 2020 Olympic preparations.Koike claimed victory and addressed supporters in the sprawling metropolis of 13.6 million people shortly after media exit polls declared her the winner at 8 pm (1100 GMT).The election, contested by a record field of 21 candidates, was called after previous governor Yoichi Masuzoe resigned over a financial scandal involving the lavish use of public funds on hotels and spa trips -- the second successive Tokyo leader to quit.Despite the high number of candidates, the Tokyo race was seen as a three-way contest between Koike and two men -- former prefectural governor Hiroya Masuda and prominent television journalist Shuntaro Torigoe.It's often a sheet of steel in Japan," Koike once told a television talk show.She won the Tokyo election despite failing to obtain the party's backing.
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