SHIBUKAWA, Gunma Pref. – The second daughter of late Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi appears likely to win her father’s former seat in Sunday’s House of Representatives general election, according to early returns.
Yuko Obuchi, 26, was set to clinch victory in the No. 5 single-seat constituency in Gunma Prefecture, northwest of Tokyo, with powerful backing from the association that had supported the late former prime minister. She would be the third generation of her family to become a lawmaker, after her father and grandfather.
Yuko Obuchi, who announced her candidacy in the election nine days after her father died of a stroke May 14, would be among the youngest winners in the election at age 26, the same age her father was when he was first elected to the Diet.
Her grandfather, Mitsuhei Obuchi, was also a Lower House member. When he died, 26-year-old Keizo Obuchi took over his seat, making him Japan’s youngest lawmaker ever.
She was contesting the seat with former Social Democratic Party Secretary General Tsuruo Yamaguchi, 74, who was a late entrant into the race, Tadashi Handa, 58, of the Japanese Communist Party, and Hiroyuki Ando, 50, of the Liberal League.
Yuko, a graduate of Seijo University in Tokyo, served as a private secretary to Obuchi from April last year until his death after working as an assistant director at Tokyo Broadcasting System.