Abe hints at second bid for LDP presidency, alliance with Hashimoto

Kyodo

Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hinted Monday that he might make second run for president of the conservative Liberal Democratic Party in September.

“My goal of breaking away from the postwar regime has yet to be achieved,” Abe said on an Internet program. “I’ve always been considering what I should do in what position to achieve the goal.”

“I’ve yet to find any answer.”

The nationalist Abe, now 57, pledged to break away from what he termed the postwar regime when he was LDP president and prime minister for one year until September 2007, when he suddenly resigned from the then-ruling party for health reasons.

Abe also said that if Osaka Ishin no Kai (One Osaka), the political group led by brash Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, wins a fairly large number of seats in the next House of Representatives election, the LDP might consider teaming up with it. The young Hashimoto is preparing to shake up the major parties during the election and is gaining populist support amid widespread discontent with the status quo.

Abe said he would be reluctant to see the opposition-leading LDP join the ruling coalition led by the Democratic Party of Japan, mainly because the DPJ is friendly to labor unions.

“We wouldn’t be able to implement our policies by allying with a party supported by labor unions,” Abe said.