Kyokudozan set to retire from Lower House

Legislator and former sumo wrestler Kyokudozan said he will retire from politics at the end of the current House of Representatives term and will not run in the next general election.

“What I was thinking from the beginning was to do my best during the first term and I got modest satisfaction on that score,” Kyokudozan, an independent, told a press conference.

“Times have changed drastically during my tenure of 31/2 years. Parties that were once vehemently opposed are now allies,” added the 35-year-old former komusubi-ranked wrestler, whose real name is Kazuyasu Hata.

Kyokudozan became a lawmaker in 1996 by clinching a proportional representation seat for the Kinki regional bloc, running on the ticket of the now-defunct Shinshinto. in a Lower House poll.

After the party was disbanded in late 1997, Kyokudozan joined the New Peace Party, now New Komeito, before becoming an independent. He now serves as deputy head in charge of Diet affairs for a Lower House parliamentary group, New Komeito and the Reformers Network Party.