Kono May Declare Candidacy in LDP Presidential Race This Week

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 5 (Jiji Press)--Japanese regulatory reform minister Taro Kono, 58, is considering declaring within this week his candidacy in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's presidential election, sources close to the minister said Sunday.

Former internal affairs minister Sanae Takaichi, 60, who has the prospect of obtaining the recommendation of 20 party members needed for a candidacy in the Sept. 29 LDP presidential race thanks to cooperation from former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is hoping to hold a press conference on Sept. 15 or the following day, just before the election's campaign period starts on Sept. 17.

The picture of the LDP race changed rapidly after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga abruptly announced Friday that he will not seek re-election.

Former LDP policy chief Fumio Kishida, 64, has already declared his candidacy, while former LDP Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba, 64, and Seiko Noda, 61, executive acting secretary-general of the party, have expressed eagerness to run in the election.

The race may develop into a close contest, similar to the 2012 LDP presidential election, which was contested by five candidates, including Abe.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press