Kono Declares Candidacy in LDP Leadership Election


Tokyo, Sept. 10 (Jiji Press)--Japanese regulatory reform minister Taro Kono declared his candidacy Friday in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's upcoming election to pick the successor of LDP President Yoshihide Suga, the prime minister.

Kono, 58, became the third contender to announce candidacy in the Sept. 29 election, after former LDP policy chief Fumio Kishida, 64, and former internal affairs minister Sanae Takaichi, 60. The official campaign period is set to start on Sept. 17.

Kono, also minister in charge of the country's COVID-19 vaccination rollout, last ran in an LDP leadership race in 2009, when the party was an opposition group.

Speaking at a press conference, Kono, who has been a strong advocate of phasing out nuclear power, supported bringing suspended nuclear plants back online. "It's realistic for the time being to resume the operations of nuclear plants whose safety is confirmed," he said.

Kono also said that the benefits that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's pro-growth Abenomics policy gave to companies did not trickle down to workers' wages.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press