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OSAKA — Senior officials of the Osaka chapter of the Democratic Party of Japan agreed Thursday that they will not back House of Representatives lawmaker Tetsundo Iwakuni, who submitted a letter of resignation to the party Wednesday, as its candidate for the upcoming Osaka gubernatorial election. Instead the officials agreed to seek a female candidate to run on the DPJ ticket in next month’s by-election, which will take place as a result of Gov. “Knock” Yokoyama’s resignation over a sex scandal. Lower House lawmaker and DPJ Osaka chapter head Kansei Nakano told a news conference after Thursday’s meeting that participants “did not put (the issue of Iwakuni’s candidacy) on the table, nor will we do so in the future.” Analysts said Iwakuni’s move was aimed at seeking support from as many parties as possible, especially the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party, the Liber al Party and New Komeito, for the gubernatorial election. Iwakuni, a former mayor of Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, in the past made an unsuccessful run for the Tokyo governorship. Nakano left the door open for jointly fielding a candidate with the LDP and New Komeito, saying that would be an option if the parties can find a person that meets all of their conditions.The by-election will be held Feb. 6, with campaigning to begin Jan. 20.

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