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Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2003

DPJ busts out mixed list of candidates for next election

Staff writer

The Democratic Party of Japan unveiled Tuesday its first list of 176 official candidates for single-seat constituencies in the next general election.

The list includes 20 candidates recommended by the Liberal Party. The two opposition parties plan to merge by the end of September under the name DPJ.

They are currently making adjustments to avoid overlaps of official candidates in the 300 single-seat constituencies of the Lower House, as speculation mounts that the election will be held this fall.

Ensuring that their candidates do not run against each other is seen as key to maximizing the opposition's chances against the ruling coalition -- the Liberal Democratic Party, New Komeito and the New Conservative Party.

At a news conference Tuesday, DPJ President Naoto Kan said the two parties expect to field candidates in roughly 280 of the 300 single-seat constituencies.

With the addition of candidates recommended by the Social Democratic Party, it would be possible for the DPJ to back a candidate in all the single-seat constituencies, Kan said.

Those appearing on Tuesday's list included Liberal Party Secretary General Hirohisa Fujii, who will run in the No. 14 constituency in Kanagawa Prefecture, and Motohisa Ikeda, a DPJ member who will seek re-election in the No. 7 district in that prefecture.

Among those not on the list were Shingo Nishimura of the No. 17 constituency in Osaka Prefecture, a hawkish Liberal Party member, as well as the DPJ's Yoko Komiyama and Yoshio Suzuki of the Liberal Party, who are both seeking to run in the Tokyo No. 6 district.

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The Japan Times

Article 4 of 15 in National news

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