OSAKA – 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.
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