When Liberal Democratic Party heavyweight Fumio Kishida announced his candidacy for the party presidency last month, he put forward plans to reform the rules surrounding senior party posts, with the proposals notably covering the position of secretary-general.

Kishida, a former foreign minister and LDP policy council chair, favors a maximum of three years for posts such as secretary-general, for which there are currently no term limits. The move was seen as a way to win support from lawmakers worried about the powerful position being monopolized indefinitely by one person — concerns that are strengthened by the fact that it’s the secretary-general who can pick and choose which lawmakers get party support for election or re-election.

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