Opposition leaders comment on LDP race outcome

Opposition leaders have commented on the election of Kishida Fumio as the new Liberal Democratic Party President, who is effectively assured to become the next prime minister.

The leader of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, Edano Yukio, said the outcome of the LDP leadership election showed that the party does not change and will not change.

He said Kishida should explain how his administration will be different from those of former prime ministers. Edano said he wishes to exchange views with Kishida by taking sufficient time at the Budget Committee of the extraordinary Diet session.

Japanese Communist Party Chairperson Shii Kazuo suggested that Kishida is a direct descendant in the political line of prime ministers Abe and Suga.

He said Kishida had supported Abe and Suga for most of the nine years they were in power, meaning that LDP politics will not change even under the new leader.

Shii said the government of LDP and Komeito is reaching a dead end, accusing them of doing nothing about the coronavirus and remaining authoritarian and corrupt. He said a change of government is needed now.

The leader of Nippon Ishin Japan Innovation Party, Matsui Ichiro, said the election revealed the LDP's old guard nature. He cited power struggles and factional rationale of what he called the Nagatacho political district that go against the common sense and expectations of ordinary people.

He said his party will stick to a policy of being fair and just in facing the governing parties and the government.

Matsui said Japan has been slow in deregulation and does not understand what Kishida means by saying it is necessary to break away from "new liberalism."

The president of the Democratic Party for the People, Tamaki Yuichiro, said the LDP leadership race reflected factional power politics, showing the strong influence of former prime minister Abe.

He said he will severely check how far Kishida will be able to restore the public trust through politics.

Tamaki said if Kishida lacks speed in response to issues, then Kishida will face criticism that his administration is no different from those of his predecessors. Tamaki added he strongly hopes Kishida will listen to and reflect the opinions of the opposition parties.