The ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s largest faction, once chaired by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, may have agreed to continue with a group leadership structure, but the failure to appoint an official chairperson is an acknowledgement that no clear successor has emerged over one year since Abe’ assassination.

There is also a question about how effective a leadership committee will be in negotiating with the other LDP factions, and whether the 100-member group might eventually split over arguments about who should be supported for an LDP presidential candidacy.

On Thursday, the faction decided on a five-man leadership committee headed by veteran Lower House lawmaker Ryu Shionoya, rather than having a chairperson for the entire faction.