Despite the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s loss of 38 seats in Sunday’s House of Representatives election, the largest faction, that of late Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, maintained its strength among the 233 seats the LDP secured.
The former Obuchi faction maintained its pre-election Lower House strength of 57 seats and kept its overall strength at 93, which includes the 36 House of Councilors members who belong to the faction.
The faction was founded in the mid-1980s by former Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita and was taken over by his key disciple, Obuchi, in 1992.
Takeshita died on June 19, just weeks after the death of Obuchi in May. Despite the loss of its leader as well as its founder, the faction still wields strong influence in Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori’s administration.
The several other LDP factions all lost ground in the poll.
The party’s second-largest faction, led by former LDP Secretary General Koichi Kato, dropped to 60 seats from a pre-election strength of 68.
Mori’s faction lost four seats in the vote and now holds 60 in total.
The faction jointly led by former transport ministers Takami Eto and Shizuka Kamei suffered the biggest setback, losing 11 seats to 52.
The faction headed by former LDP policy chief Taku Yamasaki lost nine seats to 22, falling short of the 30 members required to field candidates in the biennial LDP presidency race.
Factions formerly led by retired state minister Toshio Komoto and by Foreign Minister Yohei Kono dropped to 13 and 11 seats respectively.