FOCUS: Doubts Growing over Kishida’s Ability to Succeed Abe


Tokyo, July 20 (Jiji Press)--Influential Japanese politicians close to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have started raising doubts about the wisdom of pushing ruling party policy chief Fumio Kishida as a potential successor to Abe.

The clout of Kishida, chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Policy Research Council, is not growing within the party.

Plans to back Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, instead of Kishida, have emerged, an effort to prevent former LDP Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba from taking power as Abe wishes, sources familiar with the situation said.

“Kishida is for peacetime, not for troubled times,” Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso told a colleague recently, indicating a change in his support of Kishida’s succession.

Earlier this year, Kishida’s coronavirus relief plan was scrapped in favor of another idea pushed by Komeito, the LDP’s coalition partner, a flip-flop illustrating his lack of influence.

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