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Kato signals willingness to seek PM post after Abe

  • October 10, 2018
  • , Jiji Press , 12:18 p.m.
  • English Press
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Tokyo, Oct. 10 (Jiji Press)–Katsunobu Kato, chairman of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s General Council, has signaled his willingness to seek the post of prime minister in the future, after incumbent Shinzo Abe’s term of office as LDP president ends in September 2021.

“I hope to aim high as I drive myself forward,” Kato told a press conference on Tuesday, in answering a question about whether he will pursue the prime ministership.

“I’m hearing voices that urge me to improve strength and work for my constituency, and for Japan,” said Kato. “I’m working with a resolve to do this.”

Kato, one of Abe’s closest aides, served as deputy chief cabinet secretary and health, labor and welfare minister after Abe returned to power in December 2012.

He assumed the key party post in a cabinet and LDP leadership reshuffle last week.

At the news conference, Kato declined to clarify whether he intends to run in the next LDP leadership election.

He said: “It’s important to fully perform my assigned duties. Beyond that, I have no room to think about anything specific.”

LDP president is effectively assured of the prime ministership because of the party’s comfortable majority in the House of Representatives, the all-important lower chamber of parliament.

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