Tokyo, Jan. 15 (Jiji Press)–The Liberal Democratic Party said Friday it will not field a candidate for an upcoming by-election in the House of Representatives’ Hokkaido No. 2 constituency in the northernmost Japan prefecture.
The ruling party made the decision amid a strong backlash over money scandals, including one involving former agriculture minister Takamori Yoshikawa, who was indicted without arrest on charges of bribe-taking Friday.
The by-election will be held April 25 to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Yoshikawa as a member of the lower chamber of the Diet, the country’s parliament. He has already left the LDP.
The decision by the LDP’s headquarters may face opposition from its Hokkaido chapter, where some members were seeking to field a local politician in the by-election.
On April 25, another by-election is to be held, in the prefectural constituency of Nagano, central Japan, for the House of Councillors, the Upper House, following the death of the incumbent.
The LDP is preparing to field a former Lower House lawmaker in the Nagano election, for which it expects a tough battle.
The party leadership was apparently concerned that losing both elections would deal a blow to the administration of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, already under fire over its coronavirus responses.