The unexpectedly crowded race for the LDP presidency will finally reach its “decisive moment” on September 29. Media polls tracking his every move show that Taro Kono, the LDP minister in charge of vaccines, is unchallenged at the top of the list, but the consensus is that Kono will be in trouble if the election goes to a runoff. In the increasingly fierce power struggle, the undecided members of the Diet seem to have complicated feelings.
Former Prime Minister Abe receives call
“I was surprised to get a call from him. I didn’t know he was putting so much effort into this…”
It is no wonder that young LDP lawmakers are scratching their heads as they look back at their cell phone records. The “himself” is not a candidate for the presidential election. It was a request for support from former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is fully supporting Sanae Takaichi, the former Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications, who is in hot pursuit of Kono. Information is constantly being exchanged among the lawmakers, and about 20% of the lawmakers, who are said to be undecided about their stance, have been receiving phone calls from various quarters.
The information war is heating up.
“If there is any betrayal, Mr. Abe will not tolerate it.
“It’s obvious that Fumio Kishida, the former chairman of the policy research council, will win the decisive vote. It’s obvious that Fumio Kishida will win the decisive vote. If we lend him our support now, he will be able to use it in the new administration.
We live in an age when the former prime minister calls us directly. I’m sure the younger members of the Diet resented the development of the means of communication at this time.
Even now, the lawmakers are still undecided about their stance, with the general election scheduled for November on their minds. While a shakeup from former Prime Minister Abe may have some effect.
“If Mr. Kono is encouraged to become prime minister, former secretary general Shigeru Ishiba and environment minister Shinjiro Koizumi will surely come to his aid during the election.
“On the other hand, if Mr. Kono is encouraged to become prime minister, former secretary general Shigeru Ishiba and environment minister Shinjiro Koizumi will surely support him in the election.
“On the other hand, if Takaichi is a conservative, the Komei Party will not be able to keep up with him, so he will be at a disadvantage in the election. The stare from Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who supports Kono, in addition to the Koishi River Coalition, which is very popular with the public, will shake the undecided members of the Diet, who are vulnerable to elections.
However, one of the LDP’s mid-level lawmakers has begun to distance himself from the Kono campaign, saying he is disappointed with the way the campaign is shaping up. The reason for this is that Mr. Kono visited the Keidanren on September 8, two days before he was to announce his candidacy for the presidency. “At a press conference on September 10, he said, “I will continue to restart the necessary nuclear power plants that are recognized as safe. At a press conference on April 10, he also stated that it is realistic to restart nuclear power plants whose safety has been confirmed for the time being.
The Kono Siege
Mr. Kono, whose greatest appeal was his outspokenness and breakthrough ability, appears to be losing his fangs. “I have heard some politicians say, ‘We should just convert everything to electric vehicles,’ or ‘Manufacturing is obsolete,’ but I don’t think that’s true. Akio Toyoda, chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA), surprised everyone with his in-depth remarks on April 9, but it is widely believed that Mr. Kono and his associates were in mind.
Ken Kobayashi, chairman of the Japan Foreign Trade Council (JFTC) and chairman of Mitsubishi Corporation (MC), also said on April 15 that “it is impossible to say ‘yes or no’ about nuclear power without examining the issue. From the opposing camp, some people are saying, “If Mr. Kono becomes the new prime minister, it may not go well with the corporations.
Those around Mr. Kono believe that it is Naoya Imai, who served as secretary to the prime minister during the Abe administration, who is sending the message of “Kono siege” to the business community and other corporations. Mr. Imai, who is reported to be directing Mr. Kishida’s efforts to win the election, is the person most familiar with the importance of the support groups that have been the driving force behind Mr. Abe’s victories in previous presidential elections, in addition to his network at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. “Mr. Kono’s brainchild is not worried, saying, “It seems like the ‘domain’ is being stripped away.
The race for the presidency will be contested by a total of 764 votes, 382 from Diet members and 382 from party members. There is no doubt that the party’s approximately 1.1 million members are close to the “people’s sense,” but considering the breakdown of these members, it cannot be said that their voting behavior in the presidential election is necessarily “close to the people’s sense.
The reason for this is that nearly 40% of the total votes cast by party members belong to industry groups. This is because nearly 40% of the party’s total membership is made up of “occupational members” who belong to industry organizations. These “occupational members” are able to move on a nationwide basis and are said to have contributed greatly to the increase in the number of party members who voted for Abe for president. In addition, lawmakers who receive support from these advocacy groups can’t help but pay attention to their movements.
Although Kono is undoubtedly the “man closest to the prime minister” according to poll numbers, he is beginning to show signs of impatience in the final stages of the presidential election. No way! Please don’t joke about it.
In addition, journalist Soichiro Tahara said, “Taro Kono left out ‘nuclear power free’ and ‘female emperor’ at his press conference, and there was nothing he could do. I told Kono I was disappointed. I told Kono that I was disappointed and that if I hadn’t said that, Mr. Aso wouldn’t have approved my candidacy.
It is the wish of the Japanese people that the government should take more serious measures against the new coronavirus rather than fighting for power, but some of the younger members of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) have said, “Please be serious about supporting us in the general election. It is a very empty thing.
Reporting and writing： Kenichi Ogura
Director, Ithmose Institute