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FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Gotaro Yoshimura, an Upper House member from the Liberal Democratic Party, said he submitted his notification Wednesday that he will leave the party before his term expires this summer and seek re-election as an independent.

Yoshimura, 70, represents Fukuoka Prefecture, which will have two seats up for grabs in the July election. The LDP has already decided to endorse 42-year-old prefectural assembly member Satoshi Oie for one of the seats.

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