News analysis

Japan's old guard, mavericks battle for supremacy in LDP poll

Contenders are (from left) state minister in charge of administrative reform Taro Kono, former foreign minister Fumio Kishida, and former internal affairs ministers Sanae Takaichi and Seiko Noda.PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO - The starting gun was fired on Friday (Sept 17) in the race to succeed Mr Yoshihide Suga as Japan's 100th Prime Minister, which is shaping up to be an ideological battle between the traditional orthodox and the reform-minded iconoclasts in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

The contest, experts said, will have important ramifications on the ruling party's future. It has been marked by a rare free-for-all where lawmakers, on paper, are generally allowed to vote as they wish instead of along faction lines.

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