Pop singer Eriko Imai to run in Upper House election on LDP ticket


The Liberal Democratic Party will field Eriko Imai, a singer and member of the female J-pop group SPEED, to run in the Upper House election this summer, officials of the ruling party said Monday.

Imai, 32, is a single mother raising a son with impaired hearing. The LDP feels that Imai, an active promoter of sign language, will fit well with the concept of “promoting dynamic engagement of all citizens,” a slogan of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the party officials said.

The singer will be on the LDP’s list of proportional representation candidates. She is expected to hold a news conference soon to announce her candidacy.

SPEED released their first single, “Body & Soul,” in 1996 when the four members, who are all from Okinawa Prefecture, were between 12 and 15. The quartet is best known for “White Love,” a smash hit in 1997.