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Three LDP presidential candidates step up efforts to issue strong messages

The three lawmakers who will run in the Liberal Democratic Party presidential election (to be officially announced on Sept. 17 and held on Sept. 29) have intensified their efforts to send out messages via various media outlets on Sept. 11, including appearances on TV programs.


Administrative Reform Minister Kono Taro remarked on the government’s policy of promoting the nuclear fuel cycle, which reuses spent nuclear fuel, saying, “We should wipe the slate clean. We need to make a swift decision so that we can convey our future prospects.”


Kono, while answering questions from the press in Tokyo, proposed the complete reversal of the government policy that aims to process 100% of spent nuclear fuel, saying that instead of being reused, the spent fuel should be directly buried underground without reprocessing.


Kono also proposed that the jurisdiction of Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare be divided between two ministers in charge of social security and healthcare as part of social security reform.


Meanwhile, former Internal Affairs Minister Takaichi Sanae talked enthusiastically about establishing a ministry of environment and energy and a cybersecurity agency. She said that “environmental policy and energy policy should be integrated.” In addition, she hopes to launch a ministry of information and communications that would oversee the cybersecurity agency, which would be established as an extra-ministerial bureau.


Takaichi said: “I will not change my beliefs and policies,” in reference to Kono’s “putting a lid on” his argument on carbon neutrality and other issues ahead of the election.


Former LDP Research Council Chair Kishida Fumio stressed the importance of fair distribution of profit and income among local retailers and other small businesses under a new Japan model of capitalism.


Kishida exchanged opinions with a support group of a member of his faction in an online meeting, where he emphasized: “I’m aiming to realize a society where increases in wealth can also be enjoyed by those who are working hard to support the local economy.”


Ishiba Shigeru, former LDP Secretary-General, is still considering whether to run in the election. “I will think it over tomorrow,” Ishiba said at a press conference in Ibaraki Prefecture where he was giving a speech.

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