Almost a year since he resigned as leader due to health reasons, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is back on the political stage, albeit behind the scenes — a development that has coincided with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s tumbling poll numbers and the Liberal Democratic Party’s looming presidential election, which is likely to be held at the end of September.

In September last year, Suga became prime minister with the support of the erstwhile leader and the LDP’s Hosoda faction, of which Abe was a member, as well as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso and his group. Without the backing of Abe in particular, it’s unlikely Suga, who belongs to no faction and was Abe’s chief Cabinet secretary, could have garnered enough votes to win the LDP presidency and thus the prime ministership.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.