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Senior opposition lawmaker Jun Azumi on Wednesday criticized the ruling Liberal Democratic Party for engaging in faction-based politics for its upcoming leadership election.

“It’s like the election is already over,” Azumi, the parliamentary affairs chief of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, told reporters, referring to the LDP’s leadership race.

Jun Azumi | KYODO
Jun Azumi | KYODO

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has already secured support from major factions in the LDP’s race to choose a successor to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who last week announced his resignation due to poor health.

The LDP is using “factional politics that make me feel like it’s the 1970s again,” Azumi said.

Referring to the LDP’s decision to skip voting by rank-and-file party members in the leadership election, despite calls from young LDP members for such opportunities to vote, Azumi said, “Young LDP members completely lack energy.”

“It’s a bit childish if they just complain and that’s it,” Azumi said.

In the election set for Sept. 14, LDP lawmakers and representatives of the party’s 47 prefectural chapters will be allowed to cast their ballots.

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