DPJ’s new No. 2 close ally of Ozawa

Kyodo

Azuma Koshiishi, who on Wednesday became secretary general of the Democratic Party of Japan, is known for being very close to power broker Ichiro Ozawa.

Koshiishi, the DPJ’s Upper House caucus leader, also has strong connections with veterans in opposition parties, which control the chamber. He will be the first DPJ Upper House lawmaker to take up the party’s No. 2 post.

The 75-year-old Koshiishi has called on the DPJ to lift the suspension of Ozawa’s party membership, imposed earlier this year following the power broker’s indictment over a political money scandal.

Koshiishi often speaks in a blunt manner and dislikes being the center of attention.

A native of Yamanashi Prefecture, Koshiishi served as an elementary school teacher for 26 years before being elected to the Lower House in 1990. He has deep ties with the Japan Teachers Union.

Koshiishi was elected twice to the Lower House and is currently serving his third term in the Upper House.