• Kyodo


Pop singer Eriko Imai, a member of the J-pop girl band Speed, won a seat in Sunday’s Upper House election.

Speed had a string of smash hits in the 1990s. Imai has since built a reputation as a devoted mother of an 11-year-old son with hearing disabilities. She ran in the election as a proportional-representation candidate of the Liberal Democratic Party.

The 32-year-old single mother cited the experience of raising her son as her motivation to run for office.

“I would like to work on issues related to the welfare of children, such as child poverty,” Imai told supporters at her campaign office in Tokyo.

It will be her first stint as a lawmaker.

A native of Okinawa Prefecture, Imai avoided taking a position on the planned relocation of the Futenma military base within the prefecture, a key local issue.

Imai has said she will continue her career as a singer while serving as a lawmaker.

Speed made its debut in 1996 and had several hit songs before it disbanded in 2000.

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