As 2024 begins, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party find themselves grappling with the political fallout of an investigation by Tokyo prosecutors into allegations of unrecorded kickbacks to lawmakers from the sale of fundraising party tickets. The investigation, though centered on members of the faction once led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has raised questions about Kishida’s own future.

A number of potential rivals to Kishida have emerged, with recent media polls ranking who the public wants to see as the next prime minister, despite the fact that it is the LDP that will make that choice, with the next general election not required until 2025. Here are some of the names mentioned as possible successors should the ax fall on Kishida.

Former LDP Secretary-General and Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba, who led his own smaller faction until he dissolved it in December 2021 and it became an informal group of supporters, has been a top choice to replace Kishida in a number of polls.