At his political fund-raising party held in Tokyo on the evening of June 13, Taimei Yamaguchi, director-general of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Takeshita faction, indicated he supports a third term for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as party president. “I would like to see him win a third term (in the September presidential election) and head into the negotiations with North Korea on a solid footing.”
When he became the leader of the faction in April, Wataru Taekshita mentioned being close to former LDP Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba and Policy Research Council Chairperson Fumio Kishida, but he has not explicitly stated how he would handle the party presidential election.
In the Takeshita faction, Minister in Charge of Economic Revitalization Toshimitsu Motegi, Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare Katsunobu Kato, and others are also close to the Prime Minister. Yamaguchi’s announcement of support for Abe had apparently been communicated to some faction members in advance. The fact that Yamaguchi took action before Takeshita indicated his position reveals that the faction is not united.
A congratulatory telegram from the Prime Minister was read at the fund-raising party, and Motegi said in his remarks, “Both the Prime Minister and I trust Yamaguchi the most.” Takeshita said, “The Heisei Kenkyukai (Takeshita faction) would not survive without Yamaguchi,” but he did not mention the LDP presidential election.
The Takeshita faction has 55 members, making it the third largest in the LDP. Three main factions of the LDP – the Hosoda, Aso, and Nikai factions – have announced that they will back Abe for a third term.