LDP Mainstream Factions Tapping Suga to Contain Ishiba

Politics

Tokyo, Aug. 31 (Jiji Press)--Mainstream factions in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party are planning to back Yoshihide Suga, currently chief cabinet secretary, in the upcoming LDP leadership election, after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his resignation last week.

The move is apparently aimed at blocking former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba from winning the leadership race. Ishiba, who is popular among voters, has been critical of the Abe administration.

The mainstream factions, keen to maintain their influence on policy decisions and personnel matters, are believed to find Suga the most desirable candidate to succeed Abe as LDP president and prime minister, after he has served as chief cabinet secretary from the start of Abe’s current tenure.

LDP Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai and Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso are now poised to endorse Suga. Abe is also willing to support him, according to informed sources.

In a television show on Friday morning, Nikai described Suga as “a promising candidate,” saying that he has “sufficient capacity to serve” as prime minister.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press