• Jiji

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Komeito, the coalition partner of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, approved the seventh term of its leader, Natsuo Yamaguchi, at a party convention in Tokyo on Sunday.

Yamaguchi, 68, will serve in the top party post for another two years until September 2022.

“As our party plays a role in the coalition government, I’m resolved to support the Cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga with all of my might,” Yamaguchi said at the convention.

“I’m absolutely determined to lead our party to a victory” in the next elections for the House of Representatives, the all-important lower chamber of the Diet, and the House of Councilors, the upper chamber. “To carry out measures for the people, we must never lose,” he said.

Suga, who was invited to the convention as a guest, said, “I will let my Cabinet work for the people, so I would like to sincerely ask our partner, Komeito, for cooperation.” Suga became prime minister on Sept. 16 and launched his Cabinet the same day.

Also approved at the Komeito convention were the appointments of Keiichi Ishii, 62, acting secretary-general of the party, as secretary-general and Yuzuru Takeuchi, 62, former state minister of health, labor and welfare, as chair of its Policy Research Council.

Ishii and Takeuchi succeeded Tetsuo Saito, 68, and Noritoshi Ishida, 69, respectively. Saito and Ishida were named deputy heads of the party.

The reshuffle is intended to rejuvenate Komeito’s executive team as the party prepares for the next Lower House election in October next year.

Ishii is seen as a possible future candidate to become the party’s leader. He became acting secretary-general last year after serving in various posts such as the heads of both the Policy Research Council and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

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