Aso Faction Falls to 3rd-Largest LDP Group


Tokyo, Feb. 25 (Jiji Press)--Four members quit the Liberal Democratic Party faction led by LDP Vice President Taro Aso on Friday, taking the group down to the third-largest faction in the Japanese ruling party.

The four are Tsutomu Sato, former chairman of the LDP General Council, Toshiko Abe, Hideki Niwa and Nobuhide Minorikawa. They are members of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, the country's parliament.

Their departures reduced the number of Aso faction members to 49.

Sato, close to former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, is expected to explore an opportunity to form a new LDP group, to be possibly led by Suga.

On Friday, Sato, Niwa and Minorikawa visited Aso at his office in the building for Lower House members and submitted the four lawmakers' letters of resignation from the faction. Abe was absent as she was attending a Diet meeting. Aso did not try to persuade them to remain in the faction, saying, "Thank you for your contributions and support."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press