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Ex-Olympian Tsukahara aims to run for Upper House

Kyodo

Mitsuo Tsukahara, a gymnast who won multiple Olympic gold medals, said Wednesday he intends to run in the Upper House election this summer as a proportional representation candidate for the Liberal Democratic Party.

Tsukahara, 65, conveyed his intention to Shigeru Ishiba, secretary general of the ruling LDP.

“I want to help fulfill Japanese people’s hopes about sports and the Olympics,” Tsukahara said after meeting with Ishiba. “I want to go into politics with the same intensity with which I performed the Moon Somersault.”

The Moon Somersault is a gymnastic routine invented by Tsukahara for the horizontal bar.

Prior to the meeting, Ishiba talked with Masaru Wakasa, a 56-year-old former senior official of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office, who has also expressed his intention to run in the election as an LDP candidate.

“I want to contribute (to the nation) by engaging in political activities that only a professional lawyer is capable of,” Wakasa said.