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Japan's LDP Concerned about Headwinds in Lower House By-Elections

Japan's LDP Concerned about Headwinds in Lower House By-Elections

   Tokyo, Feb. 11 (Jiji Press)--Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party is concerned that it will face headwinds in three parliamentary by-elections in April as the party is under fire over a political funds scandal involving its intraparty factions.
   Some LDP members are proposing that the party forgo fielding a candidate in at least one of the April 28 by-elections in the Nagasaki No. 3, Tokyo No. 15 and Shimane No. 1 constituencies for the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of parliament.
   The Nagasaki race is designed to fill the vacancy left by the departure of Yaichi Tanigawa, a former LDP member who quit the Lower House over the funds scandal. On Wednesday, LDP Secretary-General Toshimitsu Motegi and election strategy chief Yuko Obuchi met with the head of the party's Nagasaki prefectural chapter, but they did not reach a conclusion on whether to field a candidate in the constituency.
   Any LDP candidate in the constituency is expected to face harsh criticism over the funds scandal. In addition, if an LDP candidate wins, there will be a need to coordinate with incumbents in the prefecture in the next Lower House election as the number of Nagasaki constituencies is reduced by one.
   "We don't need to field a candidate" in the Nagasaki by-election, an LDP official said.

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