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POLITICS

LDP members not belonging to factions form new group

  • 2015-11-06 15:00:00
  • , Mainichi
  • Translation

(Mainichi: November 6, 2015 – p. 5)

 

 By Hiroyuki Tanaka

 

 Ten Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Diet members not belonging to any faction, including former Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, met on Nov. 5 at a hotel near the Diet. They are all former members of the “Muhabatsu Renrakukai” [liaison group of unaffiliated members] close to Regional Revitalization Minister Shigeru Ishiba who opted not to join the new Ishiba faction. They agreed to call themselves the “Muhabatsu Yushi no Kai” [association of interested unaffiliated members] and hold regular meetings on Wednesdays to exchange information. Ishiba is not expected to join this group, so there is a great deal of interest in whether the new group will support Ishiba in the next LDP presidential election.

 

 In addition to Hamada, Hachiro Okonogi, Hiroshi Kajiyama, and Masatoshi Ishida are also in this group. They decided not to join the Ishiba faction when it was launched recently because they felt it didn’t make sense for Ishiba to launch a faction even though he had advocated non-affiliation with factions.

 

 Hamada told reporters that the group is “purely for the purpose of exchanging information,” denying any possibility of supporting Ishiba in the future.

 

 Hamada and Okonogi are also known to be close to former General Council chair Seiko Noda, who is not a member of any faction and has indicated her intent to run in the next presidential election. The new group is expected not to support any particular Diet member in its activities for the time being.

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