Komeito Leader Yamaguchi May Stay for Further Term

Politics

Tokyo, Aug. 1 (Jiji Press)--Speculation has emerged that Natsuo Yamaguchi, whose seventh term as leader of Komeito, the Liberal Democratic Party's junior partner in Japan's ruling coalition, will expire in September, may serve another term, although the party was previously expected to renew its leadership team.

With Komeito's lackluster performance in the July 10 House of Councillors election provoking a sense of crisis among members of lay Buddhist group Soka Gakkai, the power base of the party, calls are apparently strengthening for Yamaguchi, 70, who has served steadily as front person for Komeito, to remain in his post as the party gears up for unified local elections next spring.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Yamaguchi said he has received various opinions about whether he should stay on as leader of Komeito.

"I'd like to reach a final decision after careful consideration," Yamaguchi said, leaving all possibilities open.

Komeito is set to elect its next leader at a party convention on Sept. 25.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press