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Four contenders vie for Japan leadership

Liberal Democratic Party election scheduled for end of September

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Kono Taro, Kishida Fumio, Takaichi Sanae and Noda Seiko contest Japan's LDP leadership. 

Kono Taro, Kishida Fumio, Takaichi Sanae and Noda Seiko contest Japan's LDP leadership.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on Friday (Sept. 17) opened the race for its leadership, which is likely to culminate in the winner being anointed as the country’s new prime minister.

The incumbent, Suga Yoshihide, announced he would not seek re-election on Sept. 29 after serving just one year. Four serving or former cabinet ministers will vie, in a series of public debates and campaign events, to succeed him.

The four contenders are: Kono Taro, currently in charge of COVID-19 vaccinations; former Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio; and two women, former Internal Affairs Minister Takaichi Sanae; and former Postal and Gender Equality Minister Noda Seiko.

Apart from the COVID pandemic and China’s aggressive foreign policy, their other immediate challenge will be guiding the LDP to victory in legislative elections expected by late November, Radio Taiwan International (RTI) reported. As the party is widely tipped to win, whoever is victorious in this month’s leadership election could influence government policies for years to come.

According to international commentators, Kono is a reformist, while both Kishida and Takaichi have profiled themselves as conservatives in the mold of former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. In contrast, Noda has appealed for more diversity in Japanese society.


Updated : 2022-01-23 05:32 GMT+08:00

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