Former Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida was elected President of the LDP in the presidential election held at Grand Prince Hotel Shin Takanawa in Tokyo on September 29. In this election, Mr. Kishida won the first place among four candidates including Mr. Taro Kono, Ms. Sanae Takaichi and Ms. Seiko Noda who were all high-ranking officials in the LDP. Since his votes were not enough for a majority, the runoff between the top two candidates, Mr. Kishida and Mr. Kono, was held, and Mr. Kishida defeated Mr. Kono by 257 votes to 170, comfortably winning a majority of the total votes. I believe Mr. Kishida’s moderateness and stability, as well as his excellent political career and support among the LDP Diet members, were the key factors that made the difference in the outcome. This election was compelled to be held in a short period after Yoshihide Suga abruptly announced his resignation as President of the LDP on September 3. It meant that he had to resign as Prime Minister at the end of September because the term of his presidency of the LDP was to expire at the end of September. Despite the fact that they had to conduct their election campaigns with insufficient time for preparation, all four candidates made their best efforts to run for the presidency. Their efforts will surely contribute to revitalizing the LDP and raising the public approval rating for the party.
I supported Mr. Kono for various reasons, and this experience helped me grow as a politician. Although Mr. Kono was defeated in the LDP presidential election, he left hope for the future, and he also proved his overwhelming popularity among the LDP members throughout Japan, that is, with the public.
The general election of members of the House of Representatives will come soon. It will be held most probably in October. All the staff in my electoral district in Fukuoka Prefecture are now busy preparing for the forthcoming general election. While the public approval rating for the LDP was considerably good, when it comes to the victory in the election, it depends on each candidate’s effort. All I have to do now is to appeal to the voters my political beliefs and principles earnestly. I believe that the voters will listen to my appeal seriously.