National

Yamasaki not to run for Upper House

Kyodo

Former Liberal Democratic Party Vice President Taku Yamasaki said Sunday he will not run in the House of Councilors election in July but in a House of Representatives election to be held sometime by fall 2007.

“I will prepare for the dissolution of the Lower House and a general election,” he told reporters in Fukuoka, adding that he “had once wondered” whether to run in the upcoming Upper House election.

“But an overwhelming number of my supporters have told me that I should run in the Fukuoka No. 2 constituency,” he said, referring to his electoral district.

Yamasaki, who was a close ally of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, resigned as LDP vice president after losing his seat in the last general election.

But he said he will also prepare to run in a possible Lower House by-election if Junichiro Koga, the lawmaker who defeated him, gives up his seat due to a scandal over his academic career.

Koga has ruled out resigning from the Diet despite allegations he faked his academic background. The Democratic Party of Japan ousted him from the party in January.

Koga claimed during the campaign that he graduated from Pepperdine University in the United States. But the university later said he had taken courses there but did not graduate because he did not earn enough credits.