Tanigaki opts for old guard to round out LDP leadership posts


Sadakazu Tanigaki, fresh off his election as president of the Liberal Democratic Party, chose veteran lawmakers Tuesday for the party’s top posts, including former agriculture minister Tadamori Oshima as his No. 2 man.

In an unsurprising lineup consisting of old-guard politicians, Oshima was tapped for secretary general while ex-farm minister Shigeru Ishiba will be chairman of the LDP’s Policy Research Council.

Lower House lawmaker Ryotaro Tanose, a close aide to Tanigaki, was appointed chairman of the executive board, while former health minister Jiro Kawasaki will be Diet affairs chief.

Tanigaki said he chose “competent” lawmakers for the top slots.

“In such difficult times, competence was the most important aspect” in making the personnel decisions, he said.

Tanigaki said he still may ask Taro Kono and Yasutoshi Nishumura, his rivals in the party’s presidential race, to take up leadership positions.

“There are more executive posts that have yet to be filled,” he said. “Although nothing has been decided yet, I’d like to consider giving those two an opportunity.”

Tanigaki decided to abolish the post of election strategy chief, instead creating an Election Strategy Bureau under the authority of the secretary general.

“As an opposition party, one of the chief jobs of the secretary general will be to prepare for upcoming elections,” Tanigaki said.

During a news conference, Oshima said that as secretary general his responsibility will be to unite the party so it can start the rebuilding process.

“I will do my best to present the public with a bold, constructive and healthy LDP, and to regain the public’s trust and to return the party to power,” he said.

Ishiba said that as an opposition party, the LDP has to polish its policies and strengthen its debate skills.

“I believe we will have to put in two to three times more effort to draw the sympathy of the public and to convince them that our message makes more sense” than the DPJ’s, he said.