Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Shinjiro Koizumi is the public’s top pick to be the next prime minister, a recent Jiji Press opinion poll showed.
Koizumi, former chief deputy secretary-general of the LDP and a son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, was supported by 26.1 percent of respondents.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who won his final three-year term as LDP president in September, ranked second, with support from 16.7 percent.
Former LDP Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba, who lost to Abe in the leadership election, came third with 15.3 percent support.
Yukio Edano, leader of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, ranked fourth with 5.4 percent, followed by LDP policy chief Fumio Kishida (5 percent), Foreign Minister Taro Kono (3 percent) and former internal affairs minister Seiko Noda (1.8 percent).
Among respondents who support the LDP, Abe secured the largest share, at 27.4 percent, followed by Koizumi (22.8 percent) and Ishiba (17.6 percent).
LDP General Council Chairman Katsunobu Kato was not included in the poll. Kato has recently emerged as a possible candidate for party president.
The poll was conducted for four days through Monday via interviews with 2,000 people age 18 or older across Japan.
A previous poll conducted in June, ahead of the LDP presidential vote, showed Koizumi as the top choice to be the next party president.