• Kyodo News


The ruling Liberal Democratic Party will likely put some sort of limit on so-called hereditary candidates in the next general election, members said Thursday.

But it is still lagging the Democratic Party of Japan, the largest opposition party, which decided last month not to endorse children or relatives of Diet members if they inherit those seats and run from the same electoral districts.

Such a limit would prevent Shinjiro Koizumi, the second son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, from inheriting his father’s constituency in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, and running as an LDP candidate. The ex-prime minister plans to retire from frontline politics and will not run in the next election, which must be held by fall.

An LDP panel examining the matter will likely submit a plan to Prime Minister Taro Aso, who is also party president, by the end of the month, the lawmakers said.

In a related move, some LDP members launched a separate project team Thursday to review the hereditary trend among its own candidates.

The team aims to reduce the number of hereditary Diet seats by not allowing kin of Diet members to take over electoral districts after the incumbents retire. It will also ban successors from inheriting political funds left in the outgoing lawmakers’ fundraising bodies.

“What we are seeking is to apply certain rules in the recruiting process,” Taro Kono, the head of the project team, told reporters after Thursday’s meeting. “It is not that we are taking aim at some of our colleagues (who are hereditary legislators).”

Kono himself is a political blue blood whose father is Yohei Kono, speaker of the Lower House.

Yoshihide Suga, deputy chairman of the LDP’s Election Strategy Council, said the same day that more variety was needed.

“The party should recruit candidates with diverse backgrounds,” he said.

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