LDP to Push Ex-Finance Min. Nukaga as Lower House Chief

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Fukushiro Nukaga

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party is in the final stage of talks to recommend former Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga, 79, to replace Hiroyuki Hosoda as speaker of the House of Representatives, senior LDP officials said Friday.

Nukaga, a Lower House member elected from the eastern prefecture of Ibaraki, is expected to be chosen as speaker of the lower chamber of the Diet, the country’s parliament, in a vote at the beginning of an extraordinary Diet session to be convened Oct. 20.

Hosoda, 79, is set to resign as Lower House speaker due to poor health.

The Lower House’s speaker is customarily elected from the largest party in the chamber.

Nukaga won a parliamentary seat for the first time in the 1983 Lower House election, after working as a journalist of the major Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun and a member of the Ibaraki prefectural assembly. He has been elected to the Lower House a total of 13 times.

He has served in such key posts as head of the Defense Agency, now the Defense Ministry, finance minister and chair of the LDP’s Policy Research Council.

From 2009 to 2018, Nukaga led an LDP faction called Heisei Kenkyukai, which is now headed by LDP Secretary-General Toshimitsu Motegi.

Hosoda, a Lower House member from the western prefecture of Shimane, became head of the chamber in November 2021, after serving in posts including chief cabinet secretary and LDP secretary-general. He has been elected to the Lower House 11 times in total.

Hosoda was hospitalized due to heatstroke in July this year. After returning to his duties, he was hospitalized again for poor health. Hosoda has informed LDP executives of his intention to resign as Lower House speaker.

At Friday’s meeting of executives of the Lower House steering committee, Hosoda formally notified both the ruling and opposition camps of his decision to step down.