• Kyodo

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Lawmaker Seiko Noda, 40, a former posts and telecommunications minister, will marry an Upper House member of the New Conservative Party soon after the July Upper House election, the two told reporters on Wednesday.

Noda, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, met 34-year-old Yosuke Tsuruho during a government trip to the United States in January, they said.

The LDP and NCP are two of the three partners in the ruling coalition. Other lawmakers in the coalition also participated in the trip, which was made to inspect U.S. information technology industries.

Noda became postwar Japan’s youngest minister in 1998 at the age of 37, in the Cabinet of the late Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi. She was elected to the Lower House in July 1993 from Gifu Prefecture and is in her third term.

Tsuruho, an ex-secretary to Liberal Party chief Ichiro Ozawa, was elected to the Upper House from Wakayama Prefecture in July 1998. He later joined the NCP, which broke from the Liberal Party. His 6-year term runs through 2004.

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