Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba both focused on the importance of resilience to disasters in campaign speeches in Kyoto on Saturday, the last weekend before the ruling party votes to choose its leader for the next three years.
It was the first time the two candidates delivered speeches together at a regional area since campaigning for the Liberal Democratic Party’s presidential election began on Sept. 7.
At the LDP-organized event at a hotel in Kyoto city, Abe said he wants to “create a resilient Japan,” prepared to cope with disasters like the flooding and landslides that devastated areas of western Japan in July and the powerful quake that rocked Hokkaido earlier this month.
Abe, who is seeking a third successive three-year term as head of the LDP, is widely expected to secure a final term in the Sept. 20 contest under current party rules.
In his speech as well, Ishiba underscored the need to create an entity focused on disaster management, and called for the creation of a so-called disaster ministry.