The main candidate for the prime minister of Japan intends to continue negotiations with Russia on a peace treaty

Yoshihide Suga officially announced his candidacy for the presidency of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in the country.

The main contender for the post of the new Prime Minister of Japan, General Secretary of the Cabinet of Ministers Yoshihide Suga intends to continue Shinzo Abe’s course aimed at concluding a peace treaty with Russia, if elected as the head of government. Suga himself said this on Wednesday at a special press conference in Tokyo, where he also officially announced his participation in the election of the new chairman of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

“Together with Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe, I worked hard to solve the territorial problem and conclude a peace treaty with Russia. There will be no changes in this approach,\”, –  he said. Suga also recalled that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has always maintained the position that the problem of the absence of a peace treaty between Japan and Russia “can not be left to future generations.”

Among other key areas of his policy, if elected as Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga also noted the solution of the problem of Japanese citizens abducted by DPRK intelligence in the 70’s, as well as the issue of changes to the Constitution.

Suga recalled that he had worked for seven years and eight months as a cabinet secretary general of Prime Minister Abe’s government, working daily hand in hand with the head of the Japanese government on such important issues as the recovery of the national economy, solving social problems and, in recent months, the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.

“I have decided to participate in the election of the Chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party”, –  he said, emphasizing that he is a politician who has supported Abe all these years and is ready to continue his course.

The day before, Shigeru Ishiba, former Foreign Minister and Chairman of the Party’s Political Council, Fumio Kishida, and former Defense Minister, also expressed their willingness to run for the post of LDP head. Suga is a favorite candidate for the LDP chairman. He was supported by the heads of almost all major party factions, including the factions of Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso and LDP General Secretary Toshihiro Nikai.

As a result, more than 280 MPs may vote for his candidacy, and according to the calculations of The Asahi newspaper, about half of the representatives of regional cells, which makes his chances of victory very high. Kishida and Isibu will obviously be supported by their own factions of 47 and 19 MPs, respectively.

Usually, elections of the LDP chairman are held by voting of all MPs from the party (now there are 394 of them), the same number of votes is proportional to the results of voting among ordinary party members all over the country. The total number of votes is 788. However, since the current elections are held in an emergency manner after the resignation of the Prime Minister, according to the statute, the second option of voting is allowed when the MPs participate and the votes of all party members are distributed by three from each of the 47 prefectures of Japan (a total of 141 votes, and the total, including MPs – 535).

The latter of the two methods was eventually approved despite criticism from some LDP members. Similarly, elections were held in 2007 and 2008 after Shinzo Abe and Yasuo Fukuda lagged behind from their prime positions. Under the former, Ishiba’s chances of winning are much greater than under the latter, since his support is high among ordinary one-party members and parliamentary deputies, on the contrary, are ready to vote for Suga.


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