Usually when you hear about a fresh-faced new voice in politics, it’s usually, well, a fresh face. Not so much with Ryukichi Kawashima, who is running for office for the first time at the ripe old age of 94.

Kawashima is running to represent Saitama Prefecture’s 12th District and is the oldest candidate out of the 1,504 people running in the current election. He had been putting aside money from his pension to use for his own funeral expenses, but decided the 3 million yen (about US$36,000) would be better spent as an election fund. Deep concern over the future of the country motivated him to run, he says. “I thought it was time I did something.”

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