Suga Top Choice among Prefectural Chapters in LDP Race

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 11 (Jiji Press)--Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga is the top choice among executives of the Liberal Democratic Party’s 47 prefectural chapters for the Japanese ruling party’s next leader, who will subsequently be elected the successor to outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a Jiji Press survey has found.

Of the 47 local executives, 20 responded to the question on their preferred candidate, and 15 of them said Suga, 71, should become LDP president. Three answered in favor of LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Fumio Kishida, 63, and two picked former LDP Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba, 63.

While the other 27 executives skipped answering this question, the results suggest that Suga is popular among local representatives of the party, on top of effectively securing the backing of over 70 pct of LDP lawmakers. A total of 535 votes--394 from party lawmakers and 141 from 47 prefectural chapter representatives--will be up for grabs in Monday’s LDP presidential election. Each lawmaker has one vote, and three votes are allocated to each local representative.

Suga already has the support from some 300 LDP lawmakers, or over half of all votes to be contested. Kishida has the backing from about 55 lawmakers and Ishiba from around 25 lawmakers.

In the survey, conducted earlier this month, executives from prefectures such as Akita, Hokkaido, Ibaraki, Tokyo, Fukui, Yamanashi, Shiga and Kagoshima showed support for Suga. Yuji Tsuruta, deputy head of the LDP chapter in the northeastern prefecture of Akita, where the chief cabinet secretary was born, said he supports Suga because he “is expected to work hard for the development of regional areas.”

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press