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Abe vows to follow LDP rule on presidency

Jiji PressTOKYO (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday that he will follow a current Liberal Democratic Party rule preventing him from serving yet another term as president of the governing party.

“A fourth straight term [as LDP president] is banned under the party constitution,” Abe said at a House of Councillors Budget Committee meeting. “I will certainly follow the rule.”

“I was just given a third term [last September], so I hope to put all my energy to produce results during my last term,” he said.

Abe was responding to a question from Toranosuke Katayama, coleader of Nippon Ishin no Kai, who argued that the LDP constitution can be revised, when needed, with the consent of party members.

Recently, senior LDP members, including Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai and General Council Chairman Katsunobu Kato, have mentioned the possibility of Abe having a fourth three-year term in a row as LDP leader and staying on as prime minister.

On Wednesday, the prime minister told the same upper house committee that he turns 65 this year but is still very eager to continue working in response to a question about the employment of elderly people at private companies.

Tanigaki nixes request

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Sadakazu Tanigaki, former president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, turned down on Wednesday a request by LDP Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai for running in the House of Councillors election this summer.

During a lunch meeting with Nikai at a Tokyo hotel, Tanigaki, who retired from politics following serious injuries in a bicycle accident in July 2016, said that he will focus on rehabilitation and lead a life without causing trouble to anyone.

“One year and several months after leaving hospital, I have come to understand what I can do,” Tanigaki, also former LDP secretary general, told reporters after the meeting.

Meanwhile, Nikai said that he told Tanigaki about senior LDP members’ wish for his comeback. “I think our wish was sufficiently conveyed,” Nikai said.

LDP Acting Secretary General Motoo Hayashi, Chief Deputy Secretary General Tomomi Inada and Toshiaki Endo, former minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games also took part in the meeting, set up by Nikai to thank Tanigaki for delivering a special speech at the party convention in February.Speech

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