Vaccination minister Taro Kono to run in LDP leadership race: source – The Foreigners magazine In tokyo
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Vaccination minister Taro Kono to run in LDP leadership race: source

Written by on September 3, 2021


Japan’s vaccination minister Taro Kono on Friday expressed his intent to run in the presidential election of the governing Liberal Democratic Party, a source close to him said, following Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s abrupt announcement of withdrawal from the race.

Taro Kono. (Kyodo)

Kono, a former foreign minister and defense minister, who doubles as administrative and regulatory reform minister, has been high on the list of possible future prime ministers in media opinion polls.

The development came hours after Suga, who currently heads the party, expressed his intention to step down amid mounting criticism about his management of the LDP and his response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two senior members of the LDP — former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and former internal affairs minister Sanae Takaichi — also reiterated that they intend to run in the party’s leadership election.

In addition, Hakubun Shimomura, who had pulled out from the Sept. 29 election after being urged by Suga to prioritize his work as LDP policy chief in responding to the pandemic, indicated he might re-enter the race.

<READ PROFILE OF FUMIO KISHIDA HERE>

<READ PROFILE OF SANAE TAKAICHI HERE>

Former Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. (Kyodo)

In addition, Hakubun Shimomura, who had pulled out from the Sept. 29 election after being urged by Suga to prioritize his work as LDP policy chief in responding to the pandemic, indicated he might re-enter the race.

Two senior members of the LDP — former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and former internal affairs minister Sanae Takaichi — also reiterated that they intend to run in the party’s leadership election.

“The situation has changed. I will discuss (the matter) with my colleagues,” Shimomura said.

Kishida said his intention to run has remained “unchanged” after Suga made the surprise announcement earlier in the day.

Takaichi, who would be the LDP’s first female president if elected, said she “will fight till the end” of the leadership race. She also said she was “appalled” at Suga’s flip-flopping on running, as he had repeatedly said he would seek re-election.

“The remarks of the country’s top leader have changed every day,” Takaichi said.

Sanae Takaichi. (Kyodo)  


Related coverage:

Japan PM Suga to resign amid criticism over COVID-19 response

Suga challenger in LDP leadership race vows huge COVID relief package

LDP’s Takaichi seeks Japan’s possession of “nat’l defense forces”


 





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