On September 13, with the announcement of the LDP presidential election just around the corner, the fierce behind-the-scenes manipulation of the majority party blew up all at once.
The Shock of the Ironclad Combination of Kono and Ishiba
Taro Kono, Minister of State for Regulatory Reform and Vaccine, who has announced his candidacy, paid a surprise visit to the office of former Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba. The meeting lasted 20 minutes. “Kono, who has always looked down on anyone who comes to him, proposed to Ishiba that the party should be ready to take over. What is the significance of this change in strategy?
“According to a source close to Kono, “Kono had been leading the race with his strong support among party members, but his support among lawmakers was sluggish.
The big gamble was reportedly the idea of Masaaki Taira, a member of the Ishiba faction, who had supported Kono from the beginning. However, some people are concerned about this move.
He said, “I felt it was disrespectful to make a ‘visit to offer support’ when Ishiba himself was considering a run for the presidency. Moreover, this will make the Hosoda, Aso, and Takeshita factions even more wary and united. As a result, one could argue that Kono will not receive enough votes from the Diet.
However, Kono’s aim is to create a bandwagon effect. Kono’s approach to Ishiba was the best he could do to avoid hurting Ishiba’s self-esteem, and with this ceremony, the presidential election has effectively begun. The political world was in a state of excitement that Kono and Ishiba had finally made their move.
Kono’s intentions, in the form of a public declaration of solidarity with Ishiba, may stimulate public opinion and influence the party membership vote. This tactic is aimed at getting more and more people to join the bandwagon at the front of the queue. According to the latest party member survey circulated within the LDP immediately after, support for Kono was well over 30%. What’s more.
“The latest LDP member survey, which was circulated shortly after, shows that Kono’s support exceeds 30%.
So they say.
The old forces, impatient with Kono’s lead…
While the powerful members of the major LDP factions have become even more alarmed by Kono’s prominence, support for the Aso faction has been split between Kishida and Kono. Support for the Hosoda faction is divided between Takaichi and Kono, who both support former Prime Minister Abe, while the Takeshita faction is keeping a close eye on the Aso and Hosoda factions. The Nikai faction is also in a state of limbo as Secretary General Nikai’s centripetal force has faded.
“The Aso faction is divided between Kishida and Kono, but Akira Amari has replaced Aso as the head of the Kishida majority.
Former Prime Minister Abe has asked each of the young lawmakers up to the third grade to join him. One by one. He has been calling them one by one and begging them to support Takaichi. Abe is trying to get Takaichi to finish second in the presidential election. Abe wants to show his influence by bringing Takaichi to the second place in the presidential election.
In the Nikai faction, Ryota Takeda, the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications, ran in support of Ishiba, but he is now waiting to see what happens. What these three groups have in common is that they want to avoid Kono winning by a landslide.
There are two reasons for this. The first is that Kono will disrupt the order of the LDP, just as he did during the Koizumi administration. And if Kono is appointed, the government will be tied to Kan, and Abe and Aso may be pushed to the margins. Even Nikai is on the verge of losing his influence by the skin of his teeth.
Masterminds in the dark to screw over Kishida and Takaichi
Abe, Aso and Nikai seem to think that Kishida is easier to control than Kono and that Koichi is already under their control in order to maintain their political influence. The Nikai faction, which had supported Ishiba in retaliation for Kishida’s decision to quit as secretary general, was taken by surprise when Ishiba did not run.
The confusion in the LDP has only deepened, but looking at the LDP from the public’s point of view, I feel that it would be better if the party were to be thoroughly confused in order to choose a leader who reflects public opinion.
One factor that makes the presidential election difficult to predict is that among the 383 votes cast by party members and friends, about 45% came from professional organizations.
“Of course, Abe and Aso already have a hand in this, so the party member vote alone should be enough to give Kono 300 votes “Of course, Abe and Aso already have a hand in this, so it is unlikely that Kono will get 300 votes from party members alone. The current situation is that the three It is unlikely that Kono will get 300 votes from party members alone. 150 220 220 votes The key remains. The key remains 160 The key to victory will be how the remaining 160 votes move.
The key to victory will be how the remaining 160 votes move.
Shinzo Abe has bowed to the younger generation.
The three camps of Kono, Kishida, and Takaichi are in the midst of an all-out battle. One of the younger members of the Diet testified that former Prime Minister Abe’s seriousness was particularly unusual.
“I thought he would just tell me to vote for Takaichi, but he was completely wrong. But it was completely different. Kono may be able to put up a good fight in the next election, but he may lose. But he may lose. No one knows that for sure. But I want you to think about it. The LDP, as a conservative party, has made constitutional reform a party policy. I think it is the duty of LDP politicians to repay the people who have supported them. I think it is the duty of LDP politicians to reward those who have supported them. I want him to understand that. He bowed his head deeply. Now I have no choice but to work with Takaichi.
“Will it be Kono, who is hell-bent on changing the LDP, or Koichi, who is determined to carry on the unchanged LDP?
Reporting and writing： Shutaro Iwashiro