ELECTION INSIGHT: Komeito Exec Faces Uphill Battle in Hiroshima after LDP Scandal


Hiroshima, Oct. 27 (Jiji Press)--Tetsuo Saito, deputy leader of Komeito, the junior coalition partner of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, has made an unexpected comment that took aback potential supporters at a recent LDP gathering.

"My blood is 95 pct LDP," Saito, 69, said, his face displaying a strong sense of crisis over his uncertain prospects for success in Sunday's election for the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of parliament.

He is running in the No. 3 constituency of Hiroshima Prefecture, western Japan, which was rocked by a major vote-buying scandal involving former LDP lawmakers over the 2019 election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber.

For many years, the single-seat district has been represented by former Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai of the LDP. But Kawai left the party in June 2020 and resigned as lawmaker in April 2021 after being accused of buying votes for his wife in the 2019 Upper House election. A guilty ruling for him was finalized this month.

After Kawai's departure from the LDP, Komeito, a party known for its strict attitude toward money scandals involving politicians, decided to field Saito in the constituency. Previously, Saito had been elected from the Chugoku regional bloc of the proportional representation system, which includes Hiroshima.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press