• Kyodo News


Former Nagano Gov. Yasuo Tanaka will run in July’s House of Councilors election on the ticket of New Party Nippon, which he heads, party sources said Thursday.

Tanaka, 51, a prizewinning novelist, will seek a seat in the Tokyo constituency or in the proportional representation segment in the Upper House election, the sources said. He will declare his candidacy as early as Monday.

Tanaka was first elected Nagano governor in October 2000, but the prefectural assembly adopted a no-confidence motion against him in July 2002 over his opposition to dam construction projects in the mountainous Nagano Prefecture.

Tanaka accepted the motion but was re-elected two months later.

Tanaka was defeated by veteran lawmaker Jin Murai in the gubernatorial poll last Aug. 6.

While governor, Tanaka suspended dam-building projects in Nagano Prefecture, saying it was more important to preserve mountains and forests.

Tanaka has been head of New Party Nippon since it was established in August 2005 mainly by opponents of then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s postal privatization legislation. It currently holds one seat each in the two chambers of the Diet.

The Democratic Party of Japan, the main opposition party, earlier asked Tanaka if he was prepared to run in the July election on the DPJ ticket.

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