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When former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida announced his bid to run for the post of Liberal Democratic Party president, he did not hesitate to take a swing not only at Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga but also Toshihiro Nikai, the LDP’s powerful secretary-general.

As part of putting himself forward, Kishida proposed imposing a term limit of up to three consecutive years on party executives. Although masked by his signature soft-spoken, mellow tone, this was a declaration of war against Nikai — who lays claim to the longest run as secretary-general in the party’s history.

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