Former Japanese prime minister Hashimoto indicated his retirement

Friday, August 12, 2005

On the 11th August, the former Prime Minister of Japan Riyutaro Hashimoto, age 68, formally indicated he would not run for the Okayama 4th constituency of the House of Representatives, the Lower House of Japan, due to defectiveness of his physical condition, possibly nominally. Since the current prime minister Junichiro Koizumi had resolved that House, an election will be held on September 11.

The next day of that announcement, on the 12th, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) executive committee showed they had no intention to recognize him as a candidate to proportional representative constituency. There might be no possibility for him to run for the coming election as the LDP candidate and his political career would inevitably end.

On the July, 2004 it was reported that Hashimoto did not state the donation of 1 hundred million yen from a lobbist organisation in the annual political financial income and outgo report, which is legally mandatory to all minister and parliament speakers. Hashimoto had received that donation from the Japan Dental Political Federation, one of his main supporting organisations. His relation between medical and pharmacy lobbyists began at least in 1963 when he was appointed as a secretary of Minister of Health and Welfare. In the same year, he ran for a constituency for which his father had run since his death in that year. Later he was appointed to the Minister of Health and Welfare and played a roll as the representative of this ministry during his career.

Hashimoto had been a speaker of the House of Representatives since September 1963. He had not lost his seat until now. He was appointed to the Minister of Health and Welfare, and the Minister of Industrial Minister successively. He was the president of the LDP from 1995 until the party lost at the election of the House of Councillors in 1998. He was also the Prime Minister of Japan from 1996 till his resignation from LDP presidency. In 2001 he ran again for the presidency of the party, but was defeated by the present Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro.


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