The Liberal Democratic Party has kept a lock on power for most of the past 66 years in part because its seen as safe and predictable. Now, as the party careens through its most tumultuous leadership fight in decades, a new generation of lawmakers sees virtue in the turmoil.

"Chaos is good,” said LDP lawmaker Masaaki Taira, a 54-year-old representative from Tokyo with a model of a Gundam robot in his office. "A chaotic leadership election means the new administration won’t carry on with the previous government’s policies, and must put together its own package. It means progress.”

The LDP is searching for its second prime minister in little over a year after Yoshihide Suga, 72, abruptly announced earlier this month, amid opposition to his pandemic policy, that he wouldn’t stay on as party president. That’s prompted unusually public calls for change from within as the conservative party girds for a Lower House election that must be held by November.