SDP head Fukushima to seek fifth term

Kyodo

Mizuho Fukushima decided Saturday to seek her fifth term as leader of the Social Democratic Party, sources said.

As no other member of the small opposition party is expected to file for the leadership race, Fukushima, 56, is considered a shoo-in to secure a fifth term, the sources said. Campaigning in the election is scheduled to start Jan. 20.

“As party chief, I want to create a situation in which the party can win support, as the (ruling) Democratic Party of Japan and the (main opposition) Liberal Democratic Party are incapable (of governing Japan),” Fukushima said Wednesday.

She also said she will continue the party’s efforts to assist the reconstruction of areas devastated by the March 11 disasters, while seeking to end the country’s reliance on nuclear power.

Fukushima took the party’s helm in 2003, after former chief Takako Doi resigned to take the blame for the heavy losses the party suffered in a Lower House election that November.