The ruling Liberal Democratic Party will hold its presidential election next month. Under Japan’s parliamentary Cabinet system, the head of the LDP — which now has a majority of seats in both chambers of the Diet — is assured of being elected prime minister. In the upcoming race, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the current LDP president, is favored to win a landslide victory over Shigeru Ishiba, a former state minister for regional revitalization who will probably be the only candidate challenging Abe.

A landslide win is forecast for Abe because almost all of the LDP’s major factions have expressed support for his re-election to a third term. More than 320 (approximately 80 percent) of the LDP’s 405 Diet members have reportedly decided to vote for Abe, while Ishiba has so far secured only 40 to 50 votes, or a mere 10 percent of the total.

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