Over 90% of Abe’s ‘terrible third-termers’ won in general election

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Taido Tanose celebrates with a supporter after he secures victory in the lower house election on Sunday.

The recent general election also drew attention to the voters’ judgment on “terrible third-termers” — Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers who have been elected three times to the House of Representatives since 2012, the year the LDP returned to power, and have been involved in gaffes or scandals.

Of these lawmakers, who first became lower house members riding on the coattails of then LDP leader and former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, 77 of them ran for office this time, including Taido Tanose.

Tanose was forced to leave the party over a scandal in which he visited a Ginza nightclub during a pandemic-related state of emergency last year. He won his race as an independent and was additionally approved as an LDP member of the lower house.

Although there was no tailwind for the LDP this time, 72 of the 77 were elected to a fourth term, with 21 of them taking their seat through the proportional representation system, after losing in their constituencies.

Among the winners are LDP General Council Chairperson Tatsuo Fukuda and minister in charge of economic security Takayuki Kobayashi, who have emerged as prominent figures in the party and the government.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, the current LDP President, has been making efforts to promote young lawmakers, which should give them momentum for future success.