Ex-Lower House Speaker Yokomichi Dies at 82


Tokyo, Feb. 6 (Jiji Press)--Former Japanese House of Representatives Speaker Takahiro Yokomichi died of intrahepatic bile duct cancer at a Tokyo hospital Thursday at the age of 82.

Yokomichi, a lawyer-turned-politician, also served as vice speaker of the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, as well as governor of the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido.

A native of Hokkaido, Yokomichi was first elected to the Diet in the 1969 Lower House election, in which he ran from a constituency in the prefecture on a ticket of the now-defunct Japan Socialist Party following the death of his father, Setsuo, who was a JSP lawmaker in the lower chamber.

Yokomichi served as Hokkaido governor for three terms from 1983. He was among those who established the then Democratic Party of Japan in 1996. He returned to national politics in the Lower House election the same year.

Serving a total of 12 terms on the Lower House, Yokomichi was a key supporter of Japan's postwar pacifist Constitution at the DPJ and its successor party. Yokomichi served as Lower House speaker after the DPJ took power in 2009. He retired from politics without running in the 2017 Lower House poll.

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Jiji Press