Akira Amari’s defeat in the election results in an unexpected change of secretary-general……The Kishida administration suffered an unexpectedly unusual situation in this lower house election, but if we look at the election as a whole, we can call it a victory. “The LDP alone secured a stable majority (261 seats) in the House of Representatives, and Prime Minister Kishida is beginning to gain a reputation as a man who actually has it in him.
“I’m glad I got rid of him early.
In this election, former secretary general Nobuteru Ishihara, former local government minister Tsuyoshi Noda, former digital minister Takuya Hirai, former minister in charge of the Olympics Yoshitaka Sakurada, and other former cabinet ministers lost their primary elections one after another, but this was the first time in history that an incumbent secretary general lost his primary election. On the night of the casting vote, Mr. Amari tendered his resignation to Prime Minister and President Fumio Kishida.
From an objective point of view, the election of the secretary general was a major blunder for the party. However, some within the LDP are saying that the party was lucky to get rid of Amari so early in the election.
“Amari was close to the kingmakers, Shinzo Abe and Taro Aso, and was known as the ‘behind-the-scenes prime minister’ or ‘shadow prime minister,’ interfering in Prime Minister Kishida’s appointments. Even though he was a competent politician, he was full of ambition, saying, ‘We’ll take control of the Kishida administration. It was only when Mr. Amari lost the election that it seemed that the Kishida LDP would be in danger, but once the election was over, the voters quickly became less concerned about Mr. Amari’s failure. The ‘Amari shock’ subsided much sooner than expected, and people are now saying that the election loss was a blessing in disguise for the administration,” said a mid-level member of the Kishida faction.
The latest concern is the “scandal” involving Environment Minister Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi.
“The Kishida administration must quickly put out the fire. The Kishida administration would like to put out the fire as soon as possible, but the fact is that Environment Minister Yamaguchi was also pushed into the cabinet by Amari. Even if he were to resign from his post, it would be a temporary distraction, but in the long run it would be a positive thing, some say. Now that Mr. Amari has fallen, there is no need to worry about making such a decision.
A member of the Kishida faction, who is also a member of the Diet, says that with the cabinet “purified,” Prime Minister Kishida can now start working on what he really wanted to do.
“Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara, a former finance bureaucrat in the Kishida faction, is basically negative about fiscal expansion, except in emergencies. He and Amari, who has been promoting Abenomics, have been engaged in a tug-of-war over the ‘exit strategy for Abenomics. The Kishida administration, by its very nature, has been reluctant to deny Abenomics, but it will now look for the right moment to impose a tax on the ¥484 trillion in retained earnings of large corporations and strengthen taxation on the wealthy to distribute them to the middle class.
The Abe and Kan administrations had measures to benefit the wealthy and minimum allowances for the poor, but support for the middle class was left out. We plan to bring out the ‘Kishida colors’ by giving benefits to the middle class and raising their incomes.”
While the Kishida administration is gaining in stability, the CDP, the number one opposition party, is experiencing what can be called a “family tradition” of internal strife.
“This is also fortunate for Mr. Kishida. This is also fortunate for Mr. Kishida, as he will be able to get through the special session of the Diet while the opposition parties are unable to come together, giving him more time to prepare for next summer’s Upper House election.
Mr. Kishida’s sense of stability, which he possesses, comes into its own in normal times, as he made his diplomatic debut at COP26.
He can talk to world leaders on a first-name basis and does not seem to be intimidated. Although he no longer responds immediately to short e-mails sent to him as he used to do, there are expectations within the Kishida faction that he has what it takes and that he will be in power for a long time.
The New York Times reported that the LDP won the general election despite the fact that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, known for his lack of charisma, was chosen.
Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, who was not popular when he took office in 1998 with an approval rating of 32%, was severely criticized by the U.S. media as having “only as much charm as a cold pizza. However, since then Prime Minister Obuchi has steadily produced results, such as overcoming the financial crisis, and has gained popularity. Beat Takeshi described Prime Minister Obuchi, who was harshly criticized as a “cold pizza,” as “a noodle shop in a beach house. He meant that the food was unexpectedly good when he tried it without expectation. “I wonder what the Kishida family’s ramen will taste like.
Reporting and writing by： Daisuke Iwasaki Photo: AFLO： AFLO