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Mizuho Fukushima was re-elected head of the Social Democratic Party without contest on Friday as she was the only one who registered her candidacy for the small opposition party’s leadership election.

“I want to expand the party and change this society by doing whatever it takes to win in the House of Councillors election (this summer),” said Fukushima, 66, who received a fresh two-year term.

Fukushima will officially begin her next term as SDP head at a two-day party convention from March 19.

Indicating that she plans to give street speeches and hold town meetings nationwide before the Upper House election, Fukushima said, “I hope to seek support from nonregular workers, younger people and women.”

The SDP has two members of parliament — Fukushima, an Upper House lawmaker, as well as a member of the Lower House.

In last year’s Lower House election, the SDP only gained 1.77% of all valid votes in the proportional representation bloc.

The party needs to receive at least 2% of the votes in the upcoming Upper House election in order to maintain its status as an official political party.

“I will work toward getting at least three (SDP) members elected under the proportional representation system,” Fukushima said.

She voiced hopes that the party will actively field candidates in prefectural constituencies as well.

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