LDP’s Koike, Ishihara get top posts

by Alex Martin

The Liberal Democratic Party installed new executives Thursday, introducing a fresh lineup to help LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki prepare for the fall Diet session.

Nobuteru Ishihara, 53, the oldest son of Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, replaced Tadamori Oshima, 64, as secretary general, while Oshima was assigned the vice presidency of the top opposition party.

Former Defense Minister Yuriko Koike became the first woman to assume an executive post in the LDP with her promotion as chairman of the Executive Council, while Shigeru Ishiba, chairman of the Policy Research Council, retained his post.

Speaking to reporters at party headquarters, Tanigaki praised the new lineup and said they will be the “next generation” of leaders of the party who represent the LDP even in the event that the party can oust the Democratic Party of Japan and return to power.

“With these members, the LDP will strive to provide the public with the brand of politics that will guarantee their livelihood,” Tanigaki said, stressing his party’s priority was to force the DPJ to call a snap election, and this will also be the new executives’ main mission.

Criticizing the DPJ’s economic policies as the yen continues to rise, Ishihara said he believes the LDP can provide a better alternative. “I believe if each of us (younger ranks) tries our best for the public under President Tanigaki’s leadership, we will be able to” properly remedy the nation’s troubles, he said.

Koike said that as the first female LDP executive, her promotion embodied the party’s diversity.

Ichiro Aisawa replaced Jiro Kawasaki as LDP Diet affairs chief. The party has suffered from a string of defections and internal bickering since the DPJ ended its almost unbroken postwar rule in last summer’s general election.

Recently, ex-Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori submitted a letter of resignation to his LDP faction after a row with ex-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Mori apparently was angered over Abe’s support for ex-Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone over rival candidate Shuzen Tanigawa, a faction member, in an August poll to pick the LDP Upper House caucus leader.