Shionoya May Lead LDP's Abe Faction amid Split Fears


Tokyo, Oct. 5 (Jiji Press)--Ryu Shionoya, acting chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party's faction previously led by slain former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has emerged as a candidate to lead the Japanese ruling party's largest group.

The Abe faction is preparing to launch its new leadership team, after the state funeral for Abe, gunned down in July during a campaign speech, was held in Tokyo last week amid divided public opinion.

Some members of the faction are calling for the group to be renamed the Shionoya faction.

But the promotion of Shionoya, former chairman of the LDP's General Council, to the faction's chairman would give the impression of a seniority-based move. His leadership team would likely be regarded as a provisional one aimed at preventing members from leaving the faction, pundits said.

"I want to recommend Shionoya as new chairman," veteran lawmaker Seishiro Eto, top adviser of the Abe faction and former vice speaker of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, the country's parliament, said at an executive meeting of the faction last week.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press