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Japan Lower House Speaker Oshima to retire from politics

Tokyo, Aug. 12 (Jiji Press)–House of Representatives Speaker Tadamori Oshima said Thursday that he will retire from politics by choosing not to run in the next election for the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, which will take place by autumn.

 

Oshima, 74, told a news conference in Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, his hometown in northeastern Japan, that his duty now is to find a candidate who will succeed his constituency and can work long for a new era.

 

“I have someone to endorse in mind,” he said, without specifying who the person is.

 

While referring to his 37-year career in national politics, Oshima said he now hopes to work outside the political spotlight.

 

Oshima made a political debut in 1983, when he was elected to the Lower House for the first time. He has won a total of 12 elections.

 

He has served in such key posts as deputy chief cabinet secretary, education minister and minister of agriculture forestry and fisheries.

 

After the Liberal Democratic Party was ousted from government in 2009, Oshima supported then LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki as secretary-general and vice president of the party, paving the way for the LDP’s return to power in 2012.

 

Oshima served as LDP Diet affairs chief twice. His total tenure in the position is the second longest in history, after that of incumbent Hiroshi Moriyama.

 

After becoming Lower House speaker in April 2015, Oshima contributed to the enactment of a special law to allow former Emperor Akihito to abdicate.

 

As of Thursday, Oshima has been in the post for 2,273 days, the longest incumbency on record.

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