Ichiro Ozawa, the former leader of the Democratic Party of Japan also known as “the destroyer,” was the only one of the party’s 71 defectors to win a single-seat district Sunday.
Ozawa, now a member of the newly formed Nippon Mirai no To (Tomorrow Party of Japan), won his usual seat in the Iwate No. 4 district, but the 70 other candidates who bolted the DPJ at his bidding failed to defend their districts.
The losing defectors included former agriculture minister Masahiko Yamada and former consumer affairs minister Kenji Yamaoka.
Some of the defectors, however, went on to win seats anyway via the proportional representation segment of the election, including Sakihito Ozawa, a former environment minister, and Yorihisa Matsuno, a former deputy chief Cabinet secretary.
Of the 71 lawmakers who deserted the DPJ, 56 were fielded by Nippon Mirai, seven by Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), three by Your Party, two by New Party Daichi and one by the Liberal Democratic Party. The remaining two were independents.
The DPJ took heavy losses Sunday as voters punished the party for failing to keep the lofty promises that swept it to power in the historic 2009 election.
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