In LDP Race, Battle Intensifying for Non-lawmaker Votes

Politics

Tokyo, Aug. 23 (Jiji Press)--Ahead of the Sept. 20 leadership election of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, a battle for support from non-lawmaker party members across Japan is intensifying between two anticipated candidates.

On the weekend, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to start a series of regional visits, including to the prefectures of Kagoshima, Miyazaki, Toyama, Aichi and Tokushima. He is expected to announce his bid for a third consecutive term as LDP president in Kagoshima on Sunday.

The possible declaration outside Tokyo, a rare move for the party's presidency, appears to reflect Abe's eagerness to win broad-based support in the upcoming party poll.

Kagoshima has a historical link with Yamaguchi Prefecture, including Abe's constituency. The Satsuma-Choshu alliance, or the Satcho alliance, referring to the old names of the two prefectures, was a driving force behind the Meiji Restoration in the late 19th century.

Abe, 63, is believed to be hoping to highlight his emphasis on reforms, as well as regional issues, by using this history, according to sources close to the prime minister.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press