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Oct 6, 10:26 AM EDT

AP Interview: Tokyo Gov. vows to change nation from her city

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TOKYO (AP) -- Popular Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, a rumored candidate in upcoming parliamentary elections, says she wants to influence national politics to speed up changes needed in Japan by starting them in her city.

Koike, who became Tokyo's first female leader last year and led her local party to a stunning victory in July city elections, has launched a new national party to challenge Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the Oct. 22 parliamentary vote.

Koike told The Associated Press on Friday she wants to use her experience in Tokyo to encourage changes nationally, and is working with like-minded politicians to push for her goals. She says women's advancement and measures for Japan's aging and shrinking population have come too slowly under Abe.

She didn't make clear if she is seeking the prime ministership.

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