As a former prime minister and former leader of the Liberal Democratic Party’s largest faction, 86-year-old Yoshiro Mori has long been a party heavyweight. Though no longer an elected representative, he often works behind the scenes to influence the faction and promote his political allies to whoever is prime minister.

But while Mori remains a strong presence in the LDP, his ability to get his way on policy matters and personnel appointments may not be as strong as it first appears.

On personnel matters, Mori is not without a degree of clout. He is seen to have pushed Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to give an important post to Yuko Obuchi, a former trade minister and the daughter of former Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, whom Mori replaced as leader after he fell into a coma in 2000.