Former LDP Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba told this magazine of his shocking ambition: “Can I become president and serve my curry? | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Former LDP Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba told this magazine of his shocking ambition: “Can I become president and serve my curry?

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Shigeru Ishiba, 66, former secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party, made headlines for his “20 consecutive minutes of questioning” at the House of Representatives Budget Committee on February 15. It appears that Ishiba’s ambition to become LDP president has not yet burned out.


Ishiba expressed his ambition to become LDP president to a reporter of this magazine at the 90th LDP convention held on February 26. At this convention, Prime Minister and President Fumio Kishida (65) mentioned that 10 years had passed since he took power in December 2012.

It has been a decade of progress to restore Japan’s pride, confidence, and vitality, which were lost under the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) administration. We will continue to take on the challenge of building the next decade.

The meeting ended without any disturbances, showing unity in preparation for the local elections in April. He did not touch on the issue of the former Unification Church or the Law for the Promotion of LGBT Understanding.

After the party convention, when reporters asked him to comment on these issues, Ishiba said, “The party convention is a festival.

The party convention is a festival. There is no need for reflection.
The LDP convention is like a rally for the local elections.

He also said that the LDP’s speech was a “decade of progress” and that “there are things that have stagnated or regressed.

There have been stagnations and setbacks. We must always keep an eye on what we have failed to do as a party and whether anyone has been left behind,” he said.

He pointed out problems with the attitude of LDP leaders. After the interview, when local party members asked for a commemorative photo, Ishiba politely responded. The photo session continued for several minutes.

When the reporters had cleared out, I asked him if he would be able to eat “Ishiba Curry” at the food stall village next year.

Although it has not been done since the COVID-19 crisis, there is a tradition of holding a food stall at the party headquarters on the day before the party convention, where party leaders serve homemade dishes to ordinary party members to liven up the convention. Among the dishes, Ishiba’s “Ishiba Curry,” made with ingredients from his hometown of Tottori based on his “secret recipe,” was especially delicious. It was popular among party members and journalists.

The slightly spicy curry, made with spices and other ingredients obtained during a trip to India, was synonymous with the food stall village, but with the prolonged Abe administration in power, Ishiba’s place disappeared, and the “Ishiba Curry” disappeared from the dishes served to party members.

Former Prime Minister Abe regarded Ishiba as a rival and thoroughly denied him a place to play an active role after his administration entered a period of stability. He also did not give him any opportunities to play an active role in the subsequent Kan administration, and the Ishiba faction was dismantled and became a loose group of lawmakers in December 2021.

While he is treated as a “dead man” in Nagata-cho because he was not given a position, Ishiba’s name does not disappear when companies ask who is the most suitable person to be the next prime minister. On the contrary, depending on the survey, his name is at the top of the list. The reason why his name has remained despite the decrease in media exposure is that he has a strong fan base among both the public and party members as a debater on foreign and security issues.

(A reporter from a national newspaper) When asked if the “Ishiba Curry” could be resurrected next year, Mr. Ishiba replied, “Yes, I think so. When asked if the “Ishiba Curry” could be revived next year, Mr. Ishiba replied sadly, “It is served by party leaders.

I’m not going to be able to do it anymore because I’m the secretary-general now.

You weren’t bought for your skills as a chef, were you? Ishiba’s eyes lit up as he continued, “Okay.

‘Okay, I’ll become president and serve curry.

With the Cabinet’s approval rating hovering in the 30% range, dissatisfaction is simmering within the party. With the death of former Prime Minister Abe, the dislike for Ishiba that existed among Diet members is fading. Perhaps sensing this atmosphere, Ishiba’s eyes were full of confidence as he spoke of his desire to become president.

Diet members who ate “Ishiba Curry” the day before the party convention will remember the taste. It is possible that the curry from a food stall will rewrite the history of the LDP presidential election.

Mr. Ishiba serving Ishiba Curry (photo: Kyodo News)
  • Interview and text by Daisuke Iwasaki

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