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Interview: LDP sec.-gen. Nikai unhappy with proposal to limit tenure

  • August 30, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 8:02 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Aug. 30 (Jiji Press)–Toshihiro Nikai, the powerful secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, on Monday voiced discomfort with a proposal by LDP leadership hopeful Fumio Kishida to limit the tenures of party executives.

Nikai’s record-breaking period in office reached a fifth year early this month, but Kishida, former chairman of the party’s Policy Research Council, indicated that he would set the maximum tenure of party executives at three terms totaling three years if he wins the party leadership election on Sept. 29.

In an interview with Jiji Press, Nikai criticized Kishida’s proposal as sudden. “I wonder if it’s appropriate to say such a thing while keeping a particular event in mind,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nikai reiterated support for the re-election of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga as LDP president, indicating confidence on uniting his intraparty faction’s members to back Suga.

“Without our support, it’s uncertain even whether he (Suga) will run” in the party leadership race, Nikai stressed.

About objections within the Nikai-led faction on his support for Suga, Nikai said that those who do not follow the faction’s policy “will have to leave the faction or head in other directions.”

On the next House of Representatives election, due to take place by this autumn, Nikai suggested that it will be difficult for the prime minister to dissolve the Lower House for the poll unless the ongoing state of emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic is lifted.

At the same time, he indicated that it would not be desirable for the general election to be held without the dissolution of the Lower House.

Nikai said the LDP will aim to preserve its single-party majority in the Lower House poll, while noting that it would be possible for the party to form a coalition government with some opposition lawmakers, depending on the result of the election.

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