DPJ gears up for general election; Ozawa vague on where he’ll run

by Kazuaki Nagata

With a general election expected to be called sometime soon, the Democratic Party of Japan is gearing up for a bid to reshape the political landscape, officially endorsing 187 candidates Friday.

DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa, who will officially be reinstalled for his third term Sept. 21, was not included in the list as a candidate for the Iwate No. 4 district, which he has been representing.

According to Hirotaka Akamatsu, the DPJ election campaign committee chief, Ozawa wants to keep his options open so he can “go wherever.”

“As for President Ozawa’s district, I think he will pick a district where he will work most effectively,” DPJ Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama said.

He said there is a possibility Ozawa might run in other districts that are still open to beat a tough candidate from the Liberal Democratic Party or New Komeito, although he stressed nothing has been decided at this stage.

Akamatsu said the party hopes to field about 260 candidates by the time the next prime minister, who will replace Yasuo Fukuda, decides to dissolve the Lower House.