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POLITICS

LDP Aso and Santo factions discuss consolidation

  • 2015-11-12 15:00:00
  • , Mainichi
  • Translation

(Mainichi: November 12, 2015 – p. 5)

 

 The Aso faction (36 members) and Santo faction (10 members) of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) plan to hold serious discussions about merging the two factions, it has been learned. The leaders of the two factions, Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and former Vice President of the House of Councillors Akiko Santo, will meet on Nov. 13 to discuss cooperation for the Upper House election next summer as well as a plan for possible consolidation after next spring.

 

 If the consolidation is realized, the new faction will outnumber the Kishida faction (45 members) and become the third largest faction after the Hosoda faction (95 members) and Nukaga faction (53 members). The two factions aim to increase their influence within the party in preparation for the “post-Abe administration.”

 

 A plan to merge the two factions was once discussed in 2012 between Aso and LDP Vice President Masahiko Komura who headed the Santo faction (then called the Komura faction) at the time. However, Lower House President Tadamori Oshima, who took over from Komura, shelved the plan as he placed more importance on the faction’s liberal tradition handed down from the former Miki and Komoto factions. According to sources familiar with the matter, the two factions have discussed the consolidation behind the scenes and come up with a plan in which Aso will become “the de facto boss,” whereas Santo will be the faction’s leader.

 

 LDP Faction Membership following Aso-Santo Merger

Hosoda Faction

95

Nukaga Faction

53

Aso Faction + Santo Faction

46

Kishida Faction

45

Nikai Faction

34

Ishiba Faction

20

Ishihara Faction

15

*Prime minister and presidents of both chambers not included

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