Kishida victory a win for LDP elders and Abe

Continued sway of party’s elite power brokers despite pressure of rank and file points to fewer bold solutions to Japan’s mountain of challenges.

Mr Fumio Kishida raising his hand to claim victory after being elected as the new president of the Liberal Democratic Party at its presidential election in Tokyo on Wednesday. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
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With the world's oldest population, rapidly declining births, gargantuan public debt and increasingly damaging natural disasters fuelled by climate change, Japan faces deep-rooted challenges that the long-standing governing party has failed to tackle.

Yet in choosing a new prime minister on Wednesday, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) elected the candidate least likely to offer bold solutions. The party's elite power brokers chose Mr Fumio Kishida, 64, a stalwart moderate, in a run-off election for the leadership, seeming to disregard the public's preference for a maverick challenger.

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