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Abe named chief advisor to Nikai’s parliamentarians’ league on free and open Indo-Pacific

  • June 16, 2021
  • , Yomiuri , p. 4
  • JMH Translation

On June 15, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary-General Nikai Toshihiro launched a Diet members’ league to promote the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” (FOIP) concept. He will serve as chairman, and former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo will be a chief advisor. Recently the 3As — Abe, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Aso Taro, and LDP Research Commission on the Tax System Chairperson Amari Akira – have been joining hands to increase their influence. It is clear that Nikai’s move is aimed at countering the 3As by drawing Abe into a key position in his caucus.

 

At the inaugural general meeting held at LDP headquarters, Nikai said, “I hope that our thinking will spread throughout the international community.” Abe said, “I have agreed to advise several groups, but I wanted to be chief adviser of this group in particular,” he said, presenting Nikai in a good light.

 

The FOIP is aimed at countering China, and some have questioned pro-China Nikai’s becoming chair of the group. Nikai calculated, though, that “Abe developed the concept when he was prime minister so he cannot refuse to join.”

 

According to the information provided by the league to all LDP Diet members, about 130 members from all seven factions in the LDP attended the inaugural meeting, including former House of Representatives Speaker Ibuki Bunmei (Nikai faction) who became a chief advisor alongside Abe, LDP Policy Research Council Chairperson Shimomura Hakubun (Hosoda faction), LDP Diet Affairs Committee Chairperson Moriyama Hiroshi (Ishihara faction), and former LDP Secretary-General Ishiba Shigeru (Ishiba faction).

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