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Suga Likely to Be Key Player in LDP Leadership Race

Suga Likely to Be Key Player in LDP Leadership Race

   Tokyo, June 11 (Jiji Press)--Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will be one of key players in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's coming leadership race as a candidate backed by him could draw broad support from nonmainstream members of the party.
   Suga, who has distanced himself from current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, hopes to back a figure that can turn around the party from its woes linked to a political funds scandal, people familiar with his thinking said. Kishida's current term as LDP president expires in September.
   In a speech to a meeting of the LDP chapter in Kagoshima Prefecture Saturday, Suga recalled his 2020 party leadership bid while not commenting on the next race.
   Names being considered by Suga as possible challengers to Kishida include former LDP Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba and former Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi.
   Suga has praised Ishiba for his willingness to criticize a leader and considered giving him a key position during his stint as prime minister. Ishiba consistently ranks high in polls on whom the public wishes to become the next prime minister.

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AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL


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