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Ryu Shionoya Cited As Frontrunner To Become Leader Of LDP's Largest Faction

JAPAN

Momentum is building behind Ryu Shionoya's bid to assume leadership of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's largest faction following the death of its former chairman Shinzo Abe, Asahi reports.

  • The Seiwa Political Research Council (Abe faction) has refrained from choosing Abe's replacement, with Shionoya serving as acting chairman within a collective leadership framework. The faction is now looking to return to normal functioning in the wake of Abe's funeral earlier this week.
  • The 97-member faction held a general meeting on Thursday, with Shionoya noting that he "would like to present a new system [for the faction] soon." He has emerged as the front-runner to succeed Abe, but Asahi flags that there has been some opposition to his candidacy, especially among "young mid-career lawmakers."
  • The vacuum of power left by the assassination of the influential former Prime Minister and divisions over the Unification Church scandal left the Abe faction weakened, with some suggesting it could split up. Asahi sources suggest that there is widespread belief in the LDP that "the Unification Church issue is the Abe faction’s problem."
  • The contentious nature of the process of choosing a new leader may exacerbate frictions within the faction, raising the risk of its disintegration. Should Shionoya manage to ensure its survival and win the confidence of its members, he could wield considerable influence over the ruling party, as an advocate of policies founded on Abe's legacy.
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Momentum is building behind Ryu Shionoya's bid to assume leadership of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's largest faction following the death of its former chairman Shinzo Abe, Asahi reports.

  • The Seiwa Political Research Council (Abe faction) has refrained from choosing Abe's replacement, with Shionoya serving as acting chairman within a collective leadership framework. The faction is now looking to return to normal functioning in the wake of Abe's funeral earlier this week.
  • The 97-member faction held a general meeting on Thursday, with Shionoya noting that he "would like to present a new system [for the faction] soon." He has emerged as the front-runner to succeed Abe, but Asahi flags that there has been some opposition to his candidacy, especially among "young mid-career lawmakers."
  • The vacuum of power left by the assassination of the influential former Prime Minister and divisions over the Unification Church scandal left the Abe faction weakened, with some suggesting it could split up. Asahi sources suggest that there is widespread belief in the LDP that "the Unification Church issue is the Abe faction’s problem."
  • The contentious nature of the process of choosing a new leader may exacerbate frictions within the faction, raising the risk of its disintegration. Should Shionoya manage to ensure its survival and win the confidence of its members, he could wield considerable influence over the ruling party, as an advocate of policies founded on Abe's legacy.