It was learned on March 2 that the Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) Tanigaki group (Yurin-kai), whose adviser is former Secretary General Sadakazu Tanigaki, is likely to break up. House of Representatives Rules and Administration Committee Chairman Tsutomu Sato and a number of senior officials are defecting to join the Aso faction (Iko-kai).
Tanigaki has been recuperating since his cycling accident last July. His group decided at a general meeting on March 2 to hold a fundraising party on June 16. The remaining members will maintain the group for now while waiting for Tanigaki to return.
According to an informed source, former Minister of Health, Labor, and Welfare Jiro Kawasaki, former Olympic Minister Toshiaki Endo, former State Minister of Foreign Affairs Ichiro Aisawa, former Deputy Secretary General Yasufumi Tanahashi, and other senior officials of the group met in Tokyo on March 1. During the meeting, Tanigaki conveyed his approval of the plan to hold the party in June and agreed to be one of the organizers through a family member. However, Tanahashi disagreed with the plan and said that he wants to “back out as an organizer of the party” after the meeting.
Sato, who is a leading member of the group, did not attend the meeting. He will not participate in the party either, so the group’s breakup has become inevitable.
Tanahashi and Sato have been meeting with Aso faction officials to discuss merging the group with the Kishida faction (Kochi-kai) and the Aso faction to form a “grand Kochi-kai.” All three groups originated from a single group in the past. Several members of the Tanigaki group with 20 or so members are expected to break away and join the Aso faction.