• Politics & Government

Shigeru Ishiba Revives Study Sessions of His Group ahead of Japan Ruling Party’s Leadership Election

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Former Secretary General of the Liberal Democratic Party Shigeru Ishiba speaks at a lower house Budget Committee meeting in February 2023.

Former Secretary General of the Liberal Democratic Party Shigeru Ishiba held a meeting with his group at the Diet Building on Wednesday, revealing his plans to resume the group’s study sessions. The move appears to be a part of Ishiba’s effort to strengthen his position within the party in anticipation of the LDP leadership election in September, coinciding with the end of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s term.

Five members, including Ishiba, attended the meeting. The group plans to invite non-factional members who have participated in past group meetings to join future gatherings.

Ishiba formed the Ishiba faction in September 2015 but disbanded it in December 2021, transitioning to a more loosely organized group. Study sessions, which are the core activity of the group, had been suspended since June of last year.

Four factions have decided to dissolve, including the Abe faction, but Ishiba intends to continue his political group.

Ishiba, a well-known figure, has long held an oppositional stance within the party, and his weak support base within the party remains a challenge to his ambition to strengthen his position.