Former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba found himself in a tough spot Tuesday, torn over whether to enter what is expected to be a hard-fought battle for the Liberal Democratic Party presidency and, consequently, the country’s prime ministership.
“There are a variety of options that would serve the people,” Ishiba said at a meeting with members of his faction Tuesday. “I want to make a decision after listening to more feedback.”
Ishiba has often ranked second in polls surveying the public on its favorite to be the next prime minister, behind vaccine czar Taro Kono. If Ishiba were to join the race, many of the party’s rank-and-file members — who are often more in tune with general public opinion than lawmakers — would be expected to support him, reinforcing his image as a viable contender even if LDP lawmakers vote for someone else.