• Kyodo


Campaigning began Tuesday for a House of Representatives seat left vacant in Hokkaido after former farm minister Takamori Yoshikawa resigned as a lawmaker over a bribery scandal.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party, to which Yoshikawa used to belong, gave up on fielding a candidate for the April 25 election, although people linked to the party are among the six candidates contesting the seat.

The six include former Lower House lawmaker Kenko Matsuki, 62, backed by the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the Democratic Party for the People, the Social Democratic Party and the Japanese Communist Party, as well as Nippon Ishin no Kai candidate Izumi Yamazaki, 48, who was a Hokkaido prefectural assembly member.

Independent Yoshiko Tsuruha, 53, has expressed willingness to join the LDP if elected, while lawyer Takanori Nagatomo, 52, is a member of the LDP but is running as an independent.

The election is expected to be a contest between those four, with the focus on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yoshikawa vacated the Lower House seat before being indicted for receiving bribes from a representative of an egg producer.

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