Ishiba Planning Not to Run in LDP Race

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 14 (Jiji Press)--Former Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba is planning not to run in the upcoming party leadership election for choosing the successor to outgoing President Yoshihide Suga, it was learned Tuesday.

Ishiba, 64, hopes to tell members of the LDP faction he leads at a meeting Wednesday that he will not participate in the Sept. 29 poll, whose winner is almost certain to become Japan's next prime minister after Suga.

Ishiba is considering supporting regulatory reform minister Taro Kono, 58, one of the three LDP lawmakers who have announced their bids for the party leadership.

Without Ishiba, the race is likely to be a three-way battle among Kono, former LDP policy chief Fumio Kishida, 64, and former Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi, 60. Candidacies will be accepted Friday, marking the start of the official campaign period.

On Monday, Kono met with Ishiba for about 20 minutes and sought his support, telling Ishiba that he hopes to unite the whole party if he is elected president.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press