A struggle over the choice of an electoral candidate in Yamaguchi Prefecture between rival Liberal Democratic Party factions ended last week, with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's caucus coming out on top after Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi was selected for the new No. 3 district.

Shinji Yoshida won former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s old seat in April’s No. 4 district by-election with the backing of Abe faction members and his widow, Akie Abe, but he will now be forced to seek a less prestigious proportional representation seat in the Chugoku regional block in the next election, when Yamaguchi's seats are reduced from four to three.

The decision marks the close of the latest round in a long-standing feud between the Abe and Hayashi families. Experts say the decision was both expected and indicative of the weakening influence of the Abe family locally, nearly a year after the former leader was assassinated.