Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's announcement on 3 September that he would not run for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) presidency marked a major shift in the political landscape in Japan. While there has been recent criticism that the Prime Minister has too much power in Japan's parliamentary system, the reality is that the power base has moved easily as the wishes of politicians facing election have swayed the authority of the Prime Minister and President. The change of prime minister again hints at Japan’s uniquely fragile political structure, which has been seen in the past.
Based on media reports as of 8 September, the LDP presidential race seems to have been narrowed down to three candidates: Fumio Kishida, Taro Kono and Sanae Takaichi. Given the circumstances surrounding Suga's resignation, the next prime minister is likely to need to be the "face of the election" with the ability to appeal to public opinion. Rather than factional dynamics, the next president is likely to be decided by the notion of LDP politicians of riding the winning horse. The three candidates are currently very close and, in our view, any one of them could become prime minister.
Read the full article, featured in Gendai Business (Japan) on 10th September 2021
written by Asset Management One Co., Ltd Senior Economist Naoki Murakami
Original feature link: https://gendai.ismedia.jp/articles/-/87122