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Thirty out of 47 Liberal Democratic Party prefectural chapters are basically in favor of readmitting those former members who were expelled before the general election last year for opposing postal privatization, according to a recent Kyodo News survey.

Many cited shared political beliefs as the reason to allow the so-called postal rebels to rejoin, according to the survey of secretaries general of the prefectural chapters.

Secretaries general of four chapters, however, oppose this, while 13 expressed no preference.

Seven of the nine chapters in prefectures where 13 rebels managed to retain their seats as independents in the 2005 Lower House election are now in favor of allowing them back into the LDP.

The seven include the chapters in Yamanashi, Gifu, Okayama and Saga, where postal reform foes won seats as independents.

Meanwhile, among chapters where 14 rebels failed to retain their seats, the Oita chapter was in favor of putting ousted rebels back on its ticket for the next election, while the Shizuoka chapter was noncommittal.

Asked for reasons why the chapters would welcome them back, answers included “because they had originally been in the same party” and “because they have many ideas in common, apart from postal privatization.”

The Yamanashi chapter said it is in favor of the idea for the sake of getting ahead in the House of Councilors election next summer, while the Okinawa chapter questioned the ousters, which were ordered by Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro, saying “the punishment by the executives under the Koizumi leadership went a little too far.”

The Miyagi and Kanagawa chapters came out clearly against letting the postal reform opponents back into the fold.

The Miyagi chapter said, “People who voted for the LDP in the general election will object if ousted members are allowed to rejoin.”

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