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Yoshinobu Shimamura, 63, parliamentary vice minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, became the farm minister Sept. 26.

He succeeded Ihei Ochi, 76, who resigned Sept. 25 because of illness. Shimamura is a Liberal Democratic Party member in the Lower House who belongs to the same LDP faction as Ochi. He is considered a leading advocate of an LDP tieup with Shinshinto, the main opposition party.

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