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Jiro Ono, a secretary to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, quit his National Police Agency post Monday to run in the Sept. 11 House of Representatives election in support of Koizumi’s structural reforms centering on postal privatization.

“I want to help Prime Minister Koizumi’s reform,” Ono, 52 told reporters after quitting as Koizumi’s secretary as well as a senior NPA official.

It is rare for a senior bureaucrat serving as a prime minister’s secretary to leave the post to immediately run in a national election.

Hiroto Yamazaki, head of the International Research and Training Institute for Criminal Investigation under the National Police Academy, will succeed Ono in the post, the Cabinet Secretariat said.

Koizumi has asked Ono to run in the Yamanashi No. 3 district currently held by Takeshi Hosaka, one of the 37 members of his Liberal Democratic Party who voted against postal privatization in the Lower House last month.

Ono had been serving as the prime minister’s secretary since the Koizumi administration was launched in 2001.

Hashimoto’s son runs

OKAYAMA (Kyodo) Gaku Hashimoto, the second son of former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, announced Monday he will run in the Sept. 11 House of Representatives election in his father’s district.

Hashimoto, a 31-year-old employee of Mitsubishi Research Institute Inc., said he decided to run at the strong urging of his father’s supporters.

The former prime minister once denied he had any intention of having any of his relatives run in the district after quitting as the head of a Liberal Democratic Party faction over a donation scandal.

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