After days of speculation that has kept political observers in suspense, former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba is set to formally declare he will not take part in the Liberal Democratic Party presidential election, boosting the prospects of vaccine czar Taro Kono.

The expected announcement will come just days before the presidential election officially begins and campaigning kicks off in earnest.

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.