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PROFILE: Lower house speaker Yokomichi has close ties with Ozawa.

TOKYO, Sept. 16 Kyodo

Newly appointed House of Representatives Speaker Takahiro Yokomichi is a 10-term lower house veteran who has close ties with Democratic Party of Japan heavyweight Ichiro Ozawa.

Known as a key mediator among DPJ members who once had links with the Social Democratic Party of Japan, Yokomichi, 68, represents a constituency in Hokkaido where he was governor for 12 years from 1983 after serving five terms in the lower house as a lawmaker of the now-defunct party.

Yokomichi returned to national politics in the 1996 general election and has since retained his Diet seat. He shares common policy goals with DPJ Secretary General Ozawa in a range of areas, including national security issues.

Yokomichi's predecessor as House of Representatives speaker, Yohei Kono, retained the post for the longest period in Japanese political history.

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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Sep 21, 2009
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