Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai dined with former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and his son Shinjiro, who is currently serving as the LDP agriculture and forestry division director, in Tokyo on the evening of Dec. 9. Nikai is leading the effort to reinstate Tamisuke Watanuki, former speaker of the House of Representatives, as a LDP member, who was expelled from the LDP after he rebelled in the vote on the postal privatization bill during the Koizumi administration. Nikai was apparently attempting to gain the understanding of Junichiro Koizumi about Watanuki’s reinstatement. At the same time, Nikai seemed to be trying to draw the former prime minister, who is now advocating denuclearization, back toward the LDP to keep him from becoming a dissident.
Nikai invited former Agricultural Minister Koya Nishikawa to dine with them. The dinner was also meant to recognize Shinjiro’s efforts in promoting the agricultural reform. Nikai is also eager to reinstate Ryuji Koizumi, an independent member of the House of Representatives, who left the LDP over postal privatization.