Prime Minister Kishida Considers Dissolution in April, Potential Re-Election Without Vote for President: Self-Praise Report Circulated Among Lawmakers | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Prime Minister Kishida Considers Dissolution in April, Potential Re-Election Without Vote for President: Self-Praise Report Circulated Among Lawmakers

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The death of Mikio Aoki, the don of the upper house of the Diet, and the fact that Yoshiro Mori, 86, the owner of the Seiwa-kai, is stuck in the middle of a backroom money dispute, are also tailwinds for Prime Minister Kishida.

Prime Minister Kishida has shown leadership in taking one more step toward a free and open international order.

The LDP secretaries were left scratching their heads when they received such a self-praising report in their mailboxes on January 23, 26, and 29. The sender was the LDP headquarters. A middle-ranking Diet member’s secretary said, bewildered.

The title of the report was “Initiatives of the Kishida Administration,” and the text read, “Please use this report for local briefings, media relations, and other purposes. We had received papers from the party headquarters before when the administration’s approval ratings were low, but this time the paper was an unprecedented 48 pages of A4 paper.

The first sentence is from the “Diplomacy” section, but the “New Capitalism” section also goes on and on praising Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (66), saying, “After two years of efforts, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to completely break out of deflation and transition to a new economy.

According to the latest public opinion poll released by JNN on February 4, the Kishida administration’s approval rating is in the danger zone, hovering around 23%. What is the purpose of distributing a large number of reports at this time?

Is the prime minister seeking a way to dissolve the House of Representatives early? Some observers believe that the report was prepared with a speech in his hometown in mind, and that it is intended to encourage people to prepare for the upcoming election.

It is hard to believe that the prime minister would go out of his way to fight a losing battle at a time of low approval ratings, but a senior party official said, “Considering the upcoming Diet schedule, we cannot easily rule it out.

If the prime minister goes into the presidential election in September as is, there is no chance of his being reelected. The prime minister has been pushed to the point where he has no choice but to play the dissolution card in order to prolong the life of his administration. If the Diet is dissolved after the May holidays, it will be too late; if it is after the regular Diet session at the end of June, it will be too late. If the Diet remains in a slump in support for Kishida, there is a risk that he will be ousted. If he loses the three supplementary elections scheduled for April, he will be unable to dissolve the Diet. I want to make a move before that happens.

Prime Minister Kishida has had nothing to fear from the moment he announced the dissolution of his faction without informing Vice President Taro Aso (83) and Secretary General Toshimitsu Mogi (68), who have supported his administration since its inception. With all the other factions effectively dissolved, Kishida now has a free hand to run the government. The prime minister, whose brakes have failed, is willing to play the “postpone the Expo” card in order to prolong his life. Political journalist Koichi Kakutani reveals the following.

Sanae Takaichi, 62, the minister in charge of economic security, suddenly proposed the idea, probably because she sensed the debate within the prime minister’s office. If he says it is for the reconstruction of the Noto Peninsula earthquake, it would be a good cause. Above all, it would create a strong headwind for the Restoration Association, which aims to be the leading opposition party.

Until last year, the party had repeatedly flirted with the idea of dissolving, but had never pulled out its trump card. However, if he can avoid a crushing defeat in the general election by exercising his right to dissolve the opposition in a manner similar to when he declared the dissolution of his faction, he will be able to see the seeds of his long-cherished dream of being reelected president without a vote.

The prime minister has become an invincible man. It would not be surprising if he plays the dissolution card without hesitation.

From the February 23, 2024 issue of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO Takeshi Kinugawa

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