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Prime Minister makes it official: elections coming August 30th

Date Posted: 2009-07-23

As promised--or threatened--by Taro Aso, there will be new elections in short order.

The Prime Minister has formally dissolved the House of Representatives and set August 18th as the official announcement date for candidates to run in new elections to be held August 30th. A continuing decline in poll ratings led Aso to the decision to seek new elections. The last time House of Representatives elections were held was 2005, when the big issue was privatization of the state-owned Japan Post.

Political parties here in Okinawa are already scrambling and posturing, with 15 candidates already stepping up publicly with announcements they’re running for the lower House of Representatives, even before the current legislative session is ended.

Ten of the 15 candidates are newcomers to politics, joining veterans such as Mikio Shimoji. The 47-year-old Shimoji, a member of New Party Japan, joins Kounosuke Kokuba, 36, of the LDP and 70-year-old Hisako Hokama of the Communist Party in the First Election District race. In the Second Election District, 63-year-old Kantoku Teruya of the Socialist Party, Osamu Ashitomi, 53, of the LDP and Noboru Tomikawa, 65, of the Kofukujitsugento are running.

The Third Election District has the LDP’s 68-year-old Chiken Kakazu running, along with Shusei Arakawa, 72, of the Socialist Party, 49-year-old Denny Tamaki of the Democratic Party of Japan, Toru Odo, 57, an Independent, and Tastsuro Kinjo, 45, of the Kofukujitsugentou. In the Fourth Election district, Kosaburo Nishime, 54, of the LDP, will face off against 50-year-old Nagatoshi Zukeran of the DPJ and Mitsuya Tomikawa, 34, of the Kofukujitsugentou.

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