Senior LDP politician Kato to retire

Kyodo

Senior politician Koichi Kato of the Liberal Democratic Party plans to retire from politics following his loss in the House of Representatives election last December, an aide said Thursday.

At Wednesday’s supporter meeting in Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture, Kato, 73, hinted that he plans to name his third daughter, Ayuko, 33, as his successor, the aide said.

Kato entered the Lower House for the first time in 1972 and served as director general of the Defense Agency, chief Cabinet secretary, LDP Policy Research Council chairman and LDP secretary general. In the December Lower House election, he lost to a conservative independent in the Yamagata No. 3 district.