Two Cabinet ministers seem to have lost their seats in Sunday’s general election, dealing a blow to the government led by Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori.
Tokuichiro Tamazawa, 62, who served as farm minister, and Takashi Fukaya, 64, who was trade minister, appeared to be the losers in their single-seat constituencies. The two — both members of the Liberal Democratic Party — also ran for proportional seats, but their chances appeared slim.
“The day is against us and I’m solely to blame for it,” Tamazawa told supporters at his campaign office after his defeat in the Iwate No. 1 constituency became certain. Takuya Tasso of the Liberal Party looks to have been the victor.
“I cannot help but admit my defeat. I apologize to those who supported me,” he said.
Tamazawa was also an LDP candidate for the Tohoku proportional representation bloc in northeastern Japan but was ranked seventh on the list and is thus unlikely to gain a seat.
Fukaya, who ran in the Tokyo No. 2 constituency, is expected to be beaten by Yoshikatsu Nakayama of the Democratic Party of Japan.
Fukaya was also listed in the LDP’s proportional representation list for the Tokyo district, but his chances of winning seem slim.
He has been re-elected to the Lower house seven times since first being elected in 1972. He previously served as posts and telecommunications minister and home affairs minister.