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Senior LDP official makes controversial comment on fate of Suga administration

All national papers except Sankei highlighted remarks made on a TV show on Tuesday by LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Shimomura, who said that if the LDP candidates are defeated in the two by-elections scheduled for April 25, it will “unleash political turmoil.” The veteran politician was quoted as saying: “Setbacks in both races would deal a severe blow to the Suga administration.” The elections will be held in districts in Hokkaido and Nagano that are regarded as strongholds of the opposition camp. Shimomura’s comment sent shockwaves through the ruling party yesterday, prompting speculation that if the LDP indeed loses the two races, calls may emerge among lawmakers for ousting Prime Minister Suga on the grounds that the results represent voters’ non-confidence in the administration. LDP Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Moriyama reportedly dismissed the controversial remark yesterday by saying it is inconceivable that an election setback would lead to the downfall of the administration.

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