UPDATED: LDP: Candidates Are Not 'Assassins'
Monday, August 29, 2005 Posted: 10:47 AM JST
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has asked the media not to use the term "shikaku" (assassins) when referring to some of their candidates, Kyodo reports today. The Japanese media started using the term for LDP candidates in the September 11 general election who have been fielded to fight or replace rebel LDP lawmakers who voted against postal privatization bills.
Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi stunned his political adversaries when he dissolved the House of Representatives and called for snap elections earlier this month. The postal reforms bill narrowly passed the lower house in July. However, it was defeated when 30 LDP members in the upper house of parliament voted against it or failed to show. in the lower house 37 LDP members voted against the bills.
Koizumi immediately started to oust rebel members and replace them with loyal candidates. Many of these candidates were fielded in the election districts of the rebels. Some of these rebels now campaign as independents, while others have started new parties.
The LDP sent a letter to media organizations yesterday requesting them not to use the term. The party feels that referring to candidates as assassins harms the images of these candidates and is not right. It says that it has never used the term.
UPDATED SEPTEMBER 1 2005:
Japan Media Review reports on August 30, that it was an LDP official who was one of the first to describe the celebrity candidates as assassins.
Upon choosing the LDP's first "assassin," State Minister Seiichiro Murakami described the candidate – Environment Minister Yuriko Koike -- as the "LDP's Aya Ueto." Aya Ueto is a popular film star "idol" who acted the part of a ninja assassin in two remakes of the popular manga "Azumi," the latter of which just hit the theaters in March.
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