• Kyodo

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Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Takao Fujinami announced Saturday that he would not seek re-election to the House of Representatives, citing health reasons.

In a message read out by his younger brother to a meeting of Fujinami’s supporters in Ise, Mie Prefecture, the 70-year-old politician said, “My health in the past two years or so has not been as good as I would have wished it to be.”

Fujinami formerly served as a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party but resigned after being indicted in 1989 for accepting more than 40 million yen in bribes from Recruit Co., a Tokyo-based job information conglomerate.

The Tokyo District Court found Fujinami not guilty in September 1994.

But in March 1997, the Tokyo High Court reversed the decision, sentencing him to three years in prison, suspended for four years, a decision that was upheld by the Supreme Court in October 1999.

He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1967 and re-elected 10 times.