Abe, Ishiba File Candidacies for LDP Leadership Race


Tokyo, Sept. 7 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Shigeru Ishiba, former secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, filed their candidacies for the party's presidential election on Friday, at the start of its official campaign period.

Abe, 63, aims to win a third consecutive three-year term as LDP chief, while Ishiba, 61, will attempt for the third time to reach the ruling party's top post. LDP president is effectively assured of the prime ministership because of the party's comfortable majority in the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of parliament.

Key campaign issues are likely to include evaluations of Abe's handling of the government as prime minister and how to proceed with constitutional amendments.

The election, set for Sept. 20, is the first contest for the LDP leadership in six years. Abe, who took the current post in 2012, was reelected uncontested in 2015 as no one else ran.

It will be the first clash between the incumbent president and a challenger, or challengers, since former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi beat three contenders in 2003.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press LDP Abe Shinzō Ishiba Shigeru