The Komeito party, the junior coalition partner of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, has started making arrangements for a plan to hold a convention on Sept. 17 in Tokyo to conduct a party leadership election. The term of current Chief Representative Natsuo Yamaguchi will expire in September. Many party members give high marks to Yamaguchi who led the party in gaining 14 seats, which is the largest number of seats that the party has obtained in the House of Councillors elections. Therefore, Yamaguchi is most likely to be elected for the fifth time in a row.
Yamaguchi became Komeito leader following the resignation of former leader Akihiro Ota in September 2009. He has built a relationship of trust with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Since he is popular among supporters for Komeito, the prevailing view in the party is that “there is no reason to replace him. This is the established policy.”
If Yamaguchi is elected in the upcoming election, his term will last until September 2018.
However, since he will turn 69 on July 24, there is a view in the party that he should make an effort to train young lawmakers for a generational change. (Slightly abridged)