The Liberal Democratic Party decided Monday to expel Koji Kakizawa, a Lower House member and former foreign minister, for entering the Tokyo gubernatorial election in defiance of party wishes.

An in-house panel chaired by Junzo Iwasaki made the decision after Kakizawa failed to respond to the panel’s recommendation Thursday that he quit the party on his own. “The committee voted unanimously for the expulsion,” Iwasaki said at a news conference at party headquarters.

Explaining the reasons for the disciplinary action, the panel said his conduct damaged the democratic decision-making process in the party and caused it trouble in selecting a candidate for the race. Kakizawa declared in mid-February that he would run for Tokyo governor in April despite moves by LDP leaders to field Yasushi Akashi, a former U.N. undersecretary general.

A written decision by the panel noted Kakizawa declared his candidacy even though he agreed at one point to follow the party’s decision. The decision said his actions “attach little importance to the party’s decisions.” It also said it is the second time Kakizawa has been reprimanded by the committee, noting he was effectively given a dismissal note when he left the party in April 1994. Kakizawa rejoined the LDP in November 1995.

Coronavirus banner