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May 25, 2023
Kishida’s Coalition Party Says It Won’t Back His LDP in Tokyo
(Bloomberg) -- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s junior coalition partner won’t support his main ruling Liberal Democratic Party in Tokyo constituencies in the next general election, a party executive said Thursday.
Coalition party Komeito’s Secretary General Keiichi Ishii told reporters he had conveyed the decision to his counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi at the LDP. The step came amid a redrawing of constituency lines to reflect the continuing drift of the population to urban areas. Heavily populated areas are gaining 10 constituencies, while rural areas are losing 10.
Amid simmering speculation Kishida may call an early general election this summer, the two parties — in coalition for almost a quarter of a century — have been fighting over which of them should run candidates in newly created constituencies in the capital.
Read More: Zelenskiy’s G-7 Visit Bolsters Chances of Japan Election
Support from Komeito, backed by a lay Buddhist group, has been key to LDP electoral success. Komeito will also cease to cooperate with the LDP for local assembly elections in Tokyo, Ishii said.
“Secretary General Motegi said he wanted to take this away for consideration,” Ishii said. “I told him we have no intention of changing direction, even if they come back with another proposal.”
He added that the decision applied only to Tokyo and would not affect the coalition as a whole.
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