• Kyodo

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Seisuke Okuno, 89, a House of Representatives member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, will not seek another term and will retire from politics after the next general election, his supporters said Saturday.

Okuno, the oldest member of the Diet, announced the decision to a general assembly of local support groups in Kashihara, Nara Prefecture.

Okuno’s 58-year-old son, Shinsuke, a board member of a shipping firm, may run for Okuno’s single-seat constituency in the next election, which must take place by 2004.

Okuno is expected to hold a press conference Dec. 7 to announce his retirement, they said.

Okuno, a bureaucrat-turned-politician and a native of Gose, Nara Prefecture, has been elected to the Lower House 13 times. He first entered the Diet in 1963.

He is a former education minister and justice minister as well as National Land Agency chief.

In May 1988, Okuno gave up his Cabinet post of National Land Agency chief over his remarks that the 1937-1945 Sino-Japanese War was not a war of aggression waged by Japan.

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