TOKYO – Hakubun Shimomura, named chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Election Strategy Committee, is known as a staunch conservative ally of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Leading the LDP’s panel on constitutional revision, Shimomura, 65, has backed Abe’s push for adding a reference to the Self-Defense Forces in the war-renouncing Article 9 as part of a first-ever amendment to the Constitution.
A native of Gunma Prefecture, Shimomura lost his father in a traffic accident when he was in elementary school, and scholarships helped him finish school.
A graduate of Waseda University, Shimomura was first elected to the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly in 1989 before being elected to the House of Representatives in 1996. He has since held key government posts such as education minister and deputy chief Cabinet secretary.