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Former House of Representatives Speaker Tamisuke Watanuki, who left the Liberal Democratic Party over his opposition to postal privatization, was the best in the LDP at attracting new members in terms of quota performance, according to an internal document the LDP compiled in February.

Other postal rebels, such as former posts minister Seiko Noda and former policy chief Shizuka Kamei, were also highly successful in recruiting new members, according to the document, which shows the number of new members in each of the Lower House’s 300 single-seat districts.

Watanuki and Kamei formed Kokumin Shinto (People’s New Party) prior to the Sept. 11 general election, in which they retained their Diet seats, while Noda successfully ran as an independent.

The LDP membership quotas are set in three stages in line with a district’s population. The quota is 4,000 in districts of less than 400,000 inhabitants, 5,000 for those with 400,000 to 499,999 residents and 6,000 for areas with a population of more than 500,000.

The February document shows that Watanuki gained 15,495 new party members in his Toyama No. 3 district with the quota performance at 310 percent, while Noda from the Gifu No. 1 district ranked 13th on the list at 136 percent. Kamei was ranked 31st.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who is also LDP president, from the Kanagawa No. 11 district, ranked 218th with a quota performance at 22 percent.

Former LDP Vice President Taku Yamasaki from the Fukuoka No. 2 district ranked 273rd at 9 percent, according to the document.

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