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Idea on merging Aso, Santo, Tanigaki factions emerges in LDP

  • August 17, 2016
  • , Mainichi , p. 5
  • Translation

Sources have disclosed that there is an idea in the works on merging the Aso faction (38 members), Santo faction (11 members), and Tanigaki faction (about 30 members) in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). If the three factions join forces, the merged faction will be the second-largest faction next to the Hosoda faction (96 members) in the LDP. The three factions are hoping to expand their influence over the party. However, since talks between the Aso and Santo factions have not made any progress, the prospects for a merger are uncertain.


According to sources familiar with the matter, Akiko Santo, former vice president of the House of Councillors, who heads the Santo faction, and senior members of the Tanigaki group held talks last fall. One of the participants in the talks said: “We held the talks to pave the way for a merger, including the Aso faction.” Reportedly senior members of the three factions have repeatedly exchanged views. The Aso and Santo factions have held study sessions since 2012 on the possibility of merging in the future. Although Vice Prime Minister Taro Aso and Santo agreed last November to start full-fledged discussions on the matter, moves to forge a merger have failed to make headway due to a leadership struggle between the two factions. (Slightly abridged)

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