National

Ogi to skip Upper House poll, retire from politics

Kyodo News

House of Councilors President Chikage Ogi said Friday that she will not seek re-election in the July Upper House poll and will retire from politics.

“I would like to put an end to my political career at the end of my current term,” Ogi told a news conference Friday morning.

Ogi, a former actress who started her career with the Takarazuka all-women troupe, was first elected to the Upper House in 1977 and has served as its president since 2004.

She has earlier held the ministerial posts for construction and transportation.

Ogi, 74, is following an internal rule of the Liberal Democratic Party that candidates running for Upper House seats on the party’s proportional representation tickets must be under 70.

“In my previous election (in 2001), I made up my mind that this would be my last term,” Ogi said. “I’ve spent 30 years in politics, and before that I worked 25 years as an actress. I’ve been working all my life, and I need some time to relax.”

Ogi, whose real name is Hiroko Hayashi, is in her fifth term in the upper chamber.