Lower House Speaker Machimura to resign

Tokyo, April 21, AZERTAC

The Speaker of Japan's Lower House, Nobutaka Machimura, is stepping down for health reasons, according to Shanghai Daily.

Machimura submitted his resignation to his deputy, Tatsuo Kawabata, on Monday.

The Liberal Democratic Party is expected to name Lower House Budget Committee Chairman Tadamori Oshima as Machimura's successor.

The Lower House is expected to vote on this on Tuesday.

Machimura has been absent from Lower House plenary sessions since he fell ill and was hospitalized for medical tests last week. After learning of the test results, he decided to resign.

Machimura told reporters on Monday that he had been diagnosed as having suffered a minor stroke, and that his doctor had advised him to rest while undergoing further tests. He said it would be difficult to carry out his duties, since his treatment may take a long time.

He apologized for the trouble he may be causing for many people. He said it is high time that the Lower House came up with electoral reforms, but that he was able to do nothing. He added that it could not be helped, as he served in the post for only 4 months.

The 70-year-old Machimura has previously served as chief cabinet secretary and foreign minister.

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