Mori, Fukuda, other seniors retire

Kyodo

Former Prime Ministers Yasuo Fukuda and Yoshiro Mori are among veteran lawmakers who will not seek re-election next month, mainly due to health problems and their age.

Former economic and fiscal policy minister Kaoru Yosano, 74, as well as Hidenao Nakagawa, 68, and Tsutomu Takebe, 71, both ex-secretaries general of the Liberal Democratic Party, have also said they will retire from politics.

Fukuda, 76, who became the first prime minister whose father had also held the post, told supporters in September he thinks it’s a good time to pass on the torch.

Mori, a 75-year-old Lower House member, said earlier this year he would make way for younger politicians.

Yosano, a major player in drawing up the contentious sales tax hike, had throat cancer and now has difficulty speaking.

Ex-Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma, 71, and ex-LDP Vice President Taku Yamasaki, 75, who both failed to win a seat in the 2009 election, said they will not try again this time.