Shigeru Ishiba of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party ‘Pondering Carefully’ Candidacy in LDP Presidential Election; Former LDP Secretary General Denies Reports of Already Making Decision

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Shigeru Ishiba

Former Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba said Friday that he is “pondering carefully” about his candidacy in the party’s presidential election this autumn.

“As Diet members it is our responsibility to consider what we would do if we became prime minister,” Ishiba told reporters during his visit to Sapporo.

In an address earlier that day, Ishiba denied reports that he had already decided on running in the presidential election and informed those around him of his intention.

“I haven’t said anything like that yet,” he said.

He also mentioned the ongoing Tokyo gubernatorial election and the metropolitan assembly by-elections, for which official campaigns are currently taking place.

“I wouldn’t discuss matters that solely focus on me when our party faces critical battles,” Ishiba said.

Also on Friday, reporters asked digital minister Taro Kono, who has reportedly decided to run for the party presidency, whether he was willing to run in the LDP election.

“I have been expressing my willingness [to run for the presidency] for the 28 years since [I was first elected as a Diet member],” he said during a press conference following a Cabinet meeting.