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POLITICS > Political Parties

Kishida, Nikai factions now tied for fourth largest in LDP

  • November 1, 2019
  • , Yomiuri , p. 4
  • JMH Translation

On Oct. 31, the intraparty faction of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) led by policy chief Fumio Kishida approved the admission of Upper House member Takashi Koyari. The addition of Koyari brought the faction’s headcount to 47, tying it with the Nikai faction for the fourth largest faction in the LDP. The Takeshita faction (54 members) and the Aso faction (53 members) are also competing for the No. 2 spot, prompting competition among the four factions to expand their clout ahead of the next LDP presidential race.

 

At a regular faction meeting on Oct. 31, Kishida said: “Mr. Koyari is a policy expert who has extensive international experience. I sincerely hope he will play a leading role as a member of the Kochikai (Kishida faction).” Koyari hails from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and was elected for the first time in the Upper House election in 2016.

 

According to an insider of the Kishida faction, Koyari became close to Kishida through the party’s policy research activities. The faction’s Upper House members played a major role in luring Koyari into the faction.

 

A middle-ranking lawmaker of the faction said, “We want to increase our membership to reach the benchmark of 50 or over.”

 

Other factions are also stepping up their activities. Six lawmakers, including newly elected lawmakers and Lower House member Eiichiro Washio, a former member of the now-defunct Democratic Party of Japan, joined the Nikai faction after the Upper House election in July. Also, two Upper House members were admitted to the Takeshita faction in October.

 

The factions are focusing on increasing their influence because the Diet members in each faction will become the voter base in the party’s presidential election. Kishida is seeking to succeed Shinzo Abe as LDP president and has declared his candidacy for the next presidential race. Consequently, he wants to strengthen his influence in the party.

 

The second-largest Takeshita faction has only seven more members than the fourth largest Nikai and Kishida factions. Close competition among the four factions is likely to continue for a while.

 

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