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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 September 19 - 25  > Abe reelected as LDP head for 3rd consecutive term, far from public endorsement: Shii
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2018 September 19 - 25 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Abe reelected as LDP head for 3rd consecutive term, far from public endorsement: Shii

September 21, 2018

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo on September 20 won in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's presidential election for his third consecutive term. He will be in office for another three years, giving him the momentum needed to go ahead with his intent to revise the Constitution.

Meanwhile, nearly half the LDP rank-and-file members voted for Abe's rival Ishiba Shigeru, the former LDP secretary general, which indicates that there is a strong distrust of Abe even within the party over the "Moritomo Gakuen" and "Kake Gakuen" scandals.

Abe said to the press after his reelection, "I was able to receive firm support from the party," in regard to revision of Article 9. He also said, "We will conduct discussions with the Komei leadership," in preparing to submit a bill to amend the Constitution.

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on the same day held a press conference in the Diet building to make a comment on Abe's reelection and said, "Our party will work toward advancing cooperation between opposition parties and concerned citizens in order to bring down the Abe administration and to create a democratic government."

Shii added, "PM Abe will remain as LDP president for another three years, but many people are not happy with him using the administrative structure to further his personal interests and closing his ears to a wide range of opinions. In the LDP presidential election campaign, Abe declared that he will make changes to Article 9 at any cost and will increase the consumption tax rate to 10% in October next year. We will thwart these attempts through the joint efforts of opposition parties and concerned citizens."

Asked by the press about what he thinks of Ishiba having received about 45% of the vote from the LDP's rank-and-file members and associates, Shii in reply said, "The result reflects public criticism of the Abe government. The LDP's general members and associates have a sentiment very close to the general public. Public criticism may have been expressed in the vote."

The press also asked Shii how he views the fact that more than 80% of LDP Dietmembers had voted for Abe. Shii answered, "That demonstrates that what the LDP parliamentarians have in their mind is far different from what the public wants."

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