FOCUS: Motegi Solidifying Foothold within His Own LDP Faction


Tokyo, Oct. 19 (Jiji Press)--Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Toshimitsu Motegi, regarded by some as a possible successor to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, has been steadily solidifying his foothold within his own LDP faction since becoming its leader last year.

With the approval rating for Kishida's cabinet plunging, some LDP members speculate that Motegi is trying to increase his presence within the Japanese ruling party while supporting Kishida, also LDP president.

The main focus for the time being is how the 67-year-old LDP magnate will handle issues concerning ties between members of the party and the controversial religious group known as the Unification Church.

"We are hoping to emerge victorious from the unified local elections next spring and move Japan forward," Motegi told a seminar held by the LDP's Tochigi prefectural chapter, which he heads, at a hotel in Utsunomiya, the capital of the eastern Japan prefecture, on Saturday.

Motegi was born in Tochigi and has been elected to the House of Representatives, the

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Jiji Press