• Kyodo


The second daughter of the late Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi made her debut Tuesday as a candidate in the June 25 Lower House election, pledging to continue her father’s political legacy.

During the first official day of campaigning for the race, Yuko Obuchi, 26, made an opening speech and met with supporters in Shibukawa, Gunma Prefecture. She is running for the prefecture’s No. 5 constituency seat once held by her father.

During a kickoff ceremony attended by several thousand supporters, she said, “A month has passed since my father died. While I am just an ordinary citizen, I will devote myself to becoming a politician capable of serving the public.”

Keizo Obuchi died May 14 after lapsing into a coma following a massive stroke April 2.

Meanwhile, Tsuruo Yamaguchi, 74, a former secretary general of the Social Democratic Party who decided to contest Obuchi’s bid, also campaigned in Shibukawa.

“This election is not anything like an avenging battle,” he said. “Rather, it focuses on whether Japan’s pacifist Constitution is protected or not.”

In addition to Obuchi and Yamaguchi, Tadashi Handa, 58, and Hiroyuki Ando, 50, are also competing in the same constituency. Handa is on the Japanese Communist Party ticket and Ando is running for the Liberal League.