• Kyodo News


Taizo Sugimura, a junior lawmaker who was elected in 2005 riding on the popularity of then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, said Thursday he will not run in the next Lower House election, which must be held by autumn.

Sugimura, 29, a Liberal Democratic Party member, was considering running as an independent in the Hokkaido No. 1 constituency because the LDP has not endorsed him as a candidate for the next election.

At a news conference, Sugimura said he made the decision as he believes joining the race as an independent “would only favor” a Democratic Party of Japan candidate in the same constituency. The DPJ is the largest opposition party.

“That’s far from what I want to do,” Sugimura said.

He said he has no plans for the future for now. His term expires in September, when the next Lower House election must be called.

“I’m still 29, so I’d like to stage a comeback” someday in the future, he said.

Sugimura is one of many junior LDP lawmakers who won a Diet seat in the LDP’s proportional-representation segment in the 2005 Lower House election.

Sugimura is in the media spotlight due to his bush league behavior. Upon election, he said he wanted to dine at a pricey restaurant as a Diet member.

In the 2005 election, 83 LDP members newly won seats in the Lower House, largely thanks to Koizumi’s popularity.

But it is now believed dozens of “Koizumi’s children” fear they will lose in the next poll as they don’t have election-backing groups in a particular constituency.

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