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Veteran Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Nobutaka Machimura submitted his resignation to the Diet on Wednesday to run in next month’s Lower House by-election in Hokkaido.

The former chief Cabinet secretary, who hails from Hokkaido, made his move a day after declaring his candidacy for the Oct. 24 by-election in Hokkaido’s No. 5 single-seat constituency. The seat became vacant after Chiyomi Kobayashi of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan resigned in June over an election campaign funding scandal.

“This by-election will provide a test for the DPJ government launched a year ago, and I want to know if the voters are still supporting it or not,” Machimura said of the first election to fill a Diet vacancy since the Upper House election in July.

Four other potential candidates, including a DPJ member, have expressed their intentions to run in the by-election.

Machimura also served as education minister and foreign minister in addition to top government spokesman while the LDP was in power.

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