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With the dissolution Friday of the House of Representatives in the leadup to a general election in early November, 47 Lower House members have announced their intention to retire from politics.

Retiring members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party include Masajuro Shiokawa, a former finance minister; Hiromu Nonaka, a former LDP secretary general; Seisuke Okuno, a former justice minister; Hiroshi Mitsuzuka, a former finance minister; and Takami Eto, a former chief of the former Management and Coordination Agency.

Tetsuzo Fuwa, chairman of the Japanese Communist Party’s Central Committee; Eisei Ito, a vice president of the Democratic Party of Japan; and Sekisuke Nakanishi, a Social Democratic Party member and former chief of the Management and Coordination Agency, have also said they will retire.

Of the 46 lawmakers, 25 are LDP members, 10 are from the DPJ and 10 are from the JCP. Their average age is 71.8. Okuno, 90, is the oldest.

The last dissolution of the Lower House, in 2000, saw 42 lawmakers retire.

The LDP, led by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, has introduced a mandatory retirement age of 73 for the party’s proportional representation candidates for the next general election.

The system is seen as a way of making it easier for younger people to be elected. Former Justice Minister Kazuo Tanikawa, who turned 73 in July, decided not to run in the upcoming election in line with this policy.

But Yasuhiro Nakasone, 85, and Kiichi Miyazawa, 84 — both former prime ministers and proportional representation lawmakers — have said they intend to run for re-election.

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