Even though a state of emergency had been declared, the Hotel New Otani in Kioicho, Tokyo on the morning of October 8 was sparsely populated. Only in the “Tsuru-no-ma” banquet room did men in black and dark blue suits enter one after another. Accompanied by a female secretary, Yoshimasa Hayashi, 60, former Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of the Liberal Democratic Party, appeared at the banquet hall.
“On this day, Mr. Hayashi held a breakfast study session. It was not open to the media, but was held only for current Diet members and supporters. It was actually scheduled to be held in mid-September, but due to the extension of the emergency declaration, this meeting was postponed. There was talk that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida might come to the meeting as well, since Hayashi is the number two member of the Honchukai. In the end, Prime Minister Kishida didn’t show up because the day before the meeting, there was an earthquake with a seismic intensity of less than 5 on the Japanese scale centered in the Kanto region.
Even though the prime minister did not show up, the number of attendees was said to be well over 100. At the meeting, Mr. Hayashi made the following speech.
“Thanks to all of you, we were able to give birth to President Kishida. Thank you very much.
Mr. Hayashi is on the verge of becoming a bird of prey. In July this year, Mr. Hayashi announced that he would switch to the House of Representatives and run for the third district in Yamaguchi. However, since the district is the constituency of former Chief Cabinet Secretary Kawamura Takeo, a member of the Nikai faction, there were concerns about candidate coordination. However, on October 1, the LDP’s Yamaguchi prefectural federation filed an application with the party headquarters to endorse Hayashi. A mid-level LDP lawmaker said.
“The Yamaguchi prefectural federation decided to endorse him just two days after Kishida was elected president. Kawamura is resisting, but now that Nikai (Toshihiro) is no longer secretary general, Hayashi’s endorsement is likely. Mr. Hayashi has long expressed his desire to become prime minister, but the fact that he is a member of the House of Councillors has been a bottleneck. If that problem is solved in the next lower house election, he will be more serious about it.
In the November issue of Bungeishunju, released on October 8, Mr. Hayashi also expressed his desire to run for the next presidency, despite the fact that the Kishida administration had just been inaugurated.
At a breakfast meeting, Mr. Hayashi is said to have said, “I want to firmly support the Kishida administration,” but no one should take that statement at face value.