Sanae Takaichi, 60 years old, is seeking to become Japan’s first female prime minister. She must enlist the support of at least 20 Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) legislators in the race for party leadership, after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced he would not run for re-election in Sunday’s vote. September 29.
Local media recently reported that Ms. Takaichi has received minimal support.
Sources familiar with the incident revealed to the newspaper Mainichi that Mr. Abe intends to support Ms. Takaichi in the vote. Mr. Abe’s support increases the chance for Ms. Takaichi, who is not on either side but is close to the former prime minister, to have the 20 necessary supporters to officially enter the race.
Former Prime Minister Abe still wields strong influence over the largest wing of the LDP led by former Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda.
Sanae Takaichi insists she will come up with policies to counter China’s technological threat and help revive the economy. Photo: Mainichi
Ms. Takaichi is expected to release a book soon, in which she will continue the conservative policies pursued by Mr. Abe. Takaichi said she wanted to focus on issues that previous administrations had not accomplished, such as the goal of raising the inflation rate to 2%, enacting a bill that “helps prevent the leakage of sensitive information to China.” China”, as well as devising policies to counter Beijing’s technological threat.
She said she would roll out a modified version of Abenomics, including bold monetary easing. Ms. Takaichi also said that Japan should issue more government bonds to pay for investment in growth areas.
She also stressed the need to draft an additional budget as soon as possible to strengthen Japan’s health system, which is already under strain due to the pandemic.
Along with Mr. Abe, Ms. Takaichi serves as an adviser to the group of conservative members formed last year in the LDP.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will support his successor Taro Kono, minister in charge of administrative reform and vaccination program.
The LDP holds a majority in the two houses of the Japanese Diet, so the head of the LDP is usually chosen as prime minister. The winner of the LDP election will also act as the party’s representative to the November general election.