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FOCUS: Sense of Crisis Remains in LDP over Next General Election

FOCUS: Sense of Crisis Remains in LDP over Next General Election

   Tokyo, July 8 (Jiji Press)--Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party still has a sense of crisis over the next general election even after Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, supported by the LDP, won a landslide victory in Sunday's gubernatorial election by beating rivals including one backed by opposition parties.
   Koike won a third term mainly by highlighting her achievements during her two four-year terms. The LDP refrained from giving an official endorsement to Koike, apparently out of consideration for her being impacted by strong public criticism over the high-profile slush funds scandal involving factions at the LDP and also over Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's handling of his government. Kishida is also president of the LDP.
   In Sunday's by-elections for the Tokyo metropolitan assembly, the LDP suffered a major defeat, following a series of losses in recent national and local elections, a fresh cause of concern for the party over the next election of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Japan's parliament.
   "Governor Koike's achievements in her two terms of a total of eight years were highly evaluated," LDP Election Strategy Committee leader Yuko Obuchi said in a statement.
   Koike's victory "will give (the LDP) a big boost in future elections nationwide," she said. At the same time, "We are still in the course of regaining public trust in politics," Obuchi said, adding that the party will keep working on reforms.

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