If Nikai had retired…
The new Kishida administration was inaugurated and the general election was about to be held before we could even blink. There was so little time left that some constituencies did not decide on their official candidates until just before the election.
In such a situation, Wakayama 3 constituency was secretly attracting attention. This is the stronghold of Toshihiro Nikai, the well-known heavyweight of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), but at the age of 82, Nikai was expected to retire before the election and hand over the ground to his son.
It is said that Hiroshige Seko, Secretary-General of the House of Councillors of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), who is also an influential figure in the LDP, was growing wary of this “Nikai to Nikai” Zen transfer. Like Nikai, Seko is based in Wakayama, but he is a member of the House of Councillors. Since the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors are separate, there should be no need for him to be nervous about what is going on in Nikai’s constituency.
“There have been rumors for some time that Mr. Seko would run for the House of Representatives from his district in Wakayama. Since Mr. Seko is a powerful man, he must have thought that being a member of the House of Councillors would be a hindrance in his quest for higher office. He was watching vigilantly for an opportunity to run for the House of Representatives from his constituency in Wakayama.
Nevertheless, it was difficult for Mr. Seko to make a move while Mr. Nikai was in the dark. Mr. Seko has always shown respect for Mr. Nikai.
However, when there was talk that Mr. Nikai might hand over the ground to his son at the time of the election, things suddenly became very noisy around Mr. Seko. Around September of this year, there were even reports that Mr. Seko had begun full-scale preparations to run for the House of Representatives, or in other words, ‘battle preparations’.
In the end, it was decided that Nikai would run from Wakayama’s 3rd district in the Lower House election to be held on March 31, and rumors of Seko’s candidacy were put to rest.
In the meantime, FRIDAY Digital has found “evidence” that shows that Mr. Seko was fully committed to running for the House of Representatives until just before the announcement.
That is this photo.
I saw this car on the streets of Wakayama Prefecture. At first glance, I could tell that it was Mr. Seko’s campaign car, but upon closer inspection of the details, I noticed that it was labeled “Hiroshige Seko, candidate for the House of Representatives, Wakayama Prefecture 3rd Electoral District.
“I heard that Seko’s office hurriedly built this campaign car in preparation for Mr. Nikai’s retirement. I heard that it was a campaign car hurriedly built by Seko’s office in preparation for Mr. Nikai’s retirement. It was also said that Mr. Seko was planning to run as an independent from this constituency if Mr. Nikai’s son was officially chosen as his successor. Perhaps that is why this campaign car does not have the word “LDP” anywhere on it. However, the fact that this car is here is said to be a secret.
When I visited Tanabe City in Wakayama’s 3rd district to see how things were going in the district, I found that a new office was being prepared. When I talked to the official who came out of the office, he said, “We are in the process of moving from the previous office, but we are not preparing for any election. (When I asked about the campaign car) Hmmm, we don’t know if they are proceeding elsewhere or not,” he murmured.
We visited Mr. Seko’s office to ask about the existence of this car and whether he plans to “run for the House of Representatives” in the future, but received no answer by the deadline (we will add a note if there is an answer in the future).
After all, with Toshihiro Nikai’s decision to run for the House of Representatives, the car seems to be out of the picture this time, but will it be around in the near future? Or…?
Reporting and writing by： Kei Kato