The race is set. Shinzo Abe's longtime right-hand man Yoshihide Suga will be taking on Abe ally-turned-political rival Shigeru Ishiba and former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida to determine who will become the next Prime Minister.
But with exceptional rules and only a one-year term as the prize, this is a race unlike any other before.
On Tuesday, the Liberal Democratic Party's general council decided that the party would choose the next prime minister through emergency voting rules that include one vote per sitting LDP parliamentary member (394) and three votes per LDP prefectural chapter (141) for a total of 535 votes. The winning candidate needs to secure a majority of the votes; in other words, the magic number is 268.