Shinzo Abe's exit: LDP factions, with reduced sway, 'no longer mint, but back PMs'

Japan's Liberal Democratic Party's leadership election candidates (from left) Shigeru Ishiba, Yoshihide Suga and Fumio Kishida during a debate in Tokyo on Sept 12, 2020.
Japan's Liberal Democratic Party's leadership election candidates (from left) Shigeru Ishiba, Yoshihide Suga and Fumio Kishida during a debate in Tokyo on Sept 12, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO - Factions within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) have drastically lost influence over the last two decades, as power has coalesced in the hands of the party president and top brass.

This has paved the way for the ascent of Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. If he prevails in the race to succeed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who steps down this week, he will be the first LDP prime minister without any faction affiliation since the party was founded in 1955.

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