News On Japan

Calls for PM Kishida’s Resignation Grow as Leadership Election Looms

Jun 25 (News On Japan) - Former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has hinted at a potential leadership change within the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in the upcoming September election, subtly suggesting Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's replacement.

During an online program by Bungei Shunju on June 23, Suga commented on Kishida’s leadership: “Many ordinary citizens feel distrust as the Prime Minister has not addressed the issues concerning factions, similar to other factions.”

When asked about the need for a new leader in the LDP election, Suga responded, “I believe so. It’s the best opportunity to make the public understand the LDP’s vision for renewal.”

Calls for Kishida’s resignation are also coming from other quarters. Hiroki Tokunaga, a young lawmaker from the Motegi faction, who has only been elected once, has openly voiced his opinion on the matter.

LDP’s Tokunaga stated on June 22, “Prime Minister Kishida should not lightly talk about re-election. He should reconsider and instead open new doors for the LDP. I hope he will serve as a bridge to new leadership.”

This kind of criticism from a first-term lawmaker towards a ten-term Prime Minister is becoming more frequent among younger members of the former Motegi and Aso factions.

When asked about his bold stance, Tokunaga explained, “I often hear such sentiments in casual conversations among fellow parliamentarians. I don’t feel that I’ve gone too far. The criticism suggesting I was pushed to say this or that it’s election-driven is surprisingly minimal.”

A poll by Hodo Station reveals varied opinions within the LDP on who should be the next Prime Minister. While Secretary-General Toshimitsu Motegi’s name is mentioned, he stated that the response to the election will be dealt with during the parliamentary recess.

LDP Secretary-General Motegi commented, “I want to think about it thoroughly over the summer.”

Amid these discussions, there are whispers among younger and mid-level lawmakers about supporting Takayuki Kobayashi, a former finance bureaucrat and four-term Lower House member. Kobayashi, who served as the Minister of Economic Security in the first Kishida Cabinet, is highly regarded for his expertise in foreign and security policies and his practical capabilities.

LDP’s Kobayashi expressed his gratitude for the support, saying, “I am thankful for the voices from my fellow lawmakers encouraging me to run in the leadership election. For now, I am focused on enhancing my capabilities as a politician.”

As the LDP leadership election approaches, various ambitions are surfacing. However, a Kishida faction member remains confident about the Prime Minister’s re-election.

“Kishida will be re-elected without any political turmoil. He hasn’t done anything wrong to warrant calls for responsibility,” a Kishida faction insider commented.

Source: ANN

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