Ex-Reform Minister Yoshimi Watanabe to Retire from Politics


Tokyo, June 21 (Jiji Press)--Former administrative reform minister Yoshimi Watanabe on Tuesday expressed his intention to retire from politics as he gave up running for another six-year term in the upcoming House of Councillors election.

In a Facebook post, Watanabe said his efforts to form "a third force" in national politics had ended and apologized to former members of Your Party, a now-defunct party he once led.

Watanabe, then a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, won his first parliamentary seat in the 1996 House of Representatives election. He was victorious in six straight Lower House elections.

He held cabinet posts including administrative reform minister under prime ministers Shinzo Abe and Yasuo Fukuda.

In 2009, Watanabe left the LDP and formed Your Party. After the dissolution of Your Party, he lost his seat in the 2014 Lower House election.

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Jiji Press