In a move symbolic of the lengths it will go to win the Sept. 11 general election, the Liberal Democratic Party has asked Livedoor Co. President Takafumi Horie to be a candidate on its ticket, senior LDP members said Tuesday.
Party officials believe the 32-year-old Horie, an outspoken Internet entrepreneur, will help the LDP win urban swing votes.
Later in the day, Horie acknowledged he met with a senior LDP member Monday and told reporters “there is a possibility” he will run if he can have a significant impact on voters and get “a sense of being able to change Japan” by becoming a Lower House member.
The LDP has been sounding out a wide array of individuals to run in the upcoming election, which Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi called by dissolving the House of Representatives on Aug. 8.
Political analysts believe the LDP, which has traditionally lacked a strong urban footing, is considering fielding Horie in a district where there are many voters with no party affiliation, including the Fukuoka No. 1 district.
Horie — widely known by his nickname “Horiemon,” a takeoff on the Doraemon robot cat cartoon character — made headlines earlier this year when his Internet service company lost a highly publicized bid to take over Nippon Broadcasting System Inc. and failed to purchase a professional baseball team.
Horie’s bold methods were both supported and criticized in business, political and various other circles.
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