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The Liberal Democratic Party will hold its presidential election Sunday under difficult circumstances as a result of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s abrupt decision to resign. His irresponsible behavior of announcing his resignation just two days after his delivery of a policy speech in the Diet has given rise to a crucial question: Is the LDP capable of electing a politician with the qualifications to be the nation’s prime minister?

The new LDP president will automatically become the next prime minister since the LDP-Komeito ruling coalition controls the Lower House. Mr. Yasuo Fukuda, former chief Cabinet secretary of the Koizumi administration, and LDP secretary general Mr. Taro Aso, former foreign minister of the Abe administration, are vying for the LDP’s top post. How they conduct their campaign, their policy proposals, and who wins will greatly influence the LDP’s fate.

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