Former PM Suga Referenced Change of PM in Next Election; Critical of Revised Political Funds Control Law Handling

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks at the Diet in June.

Former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of the Liberal Democratic Party appeared on the Bungeishunju online edition program on Sunday, criticizing Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s handling of the revised Political Funds Control Law. He also indicated that it would be desirable to replace the prime minister in the party’s autumn presidential election.

Suga said that “the LDP proposal should have been put forward [first] no matter what, but the fact that it came after those of the opposition parties is strange by any measure,” and added that “the prime minister has not taken responsibility, and many citizens have a sense of distrust.”

Regarding the LDP presidential election, he said, “It is important to create an atmosphere where the people say, ‘The LDP has changed, and I have hope again.’ It will be a major milestone if the people have a feeling that reform is taking place.”

While when asked if a new leader should emerge from the presidential election, he replied, “I think so,” he said he had not decided who he would recommend. “More people are feeling a sense of crisis that, if things continue as they are, there could be a change of government,” he added.

Suga represents a non-mainstream faction distanced from Kishida, and his response to the presidential election has been drawing attention.