Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Abe Family and the Yomiuri Give Five LDP Upper House Members the Kiss of Death

What must be a sobering piece of news for five LDP Upper House legislators lay nestled in the upper left corner of the second page of this morning's Yomiuri. Big Nakagawa and even bigger ex-Prime Minister Mori are going on record, the latter naming names, that the time has come to revisit the list of LDP Upper House candidates and put losers out of their misery. Always helpful Yomiuri has compiled a list of the three doomed candidates named by Mr. Mori and added a couple more for good measure. The three who received the Mori bearhug are all septuagenarians. The reasons for the other two falling into disfavor are not specified; however, the article mentions "cases where the people around the candidate are causing importune incidents, [or] the local LDP party machine is not united". The four DPJ candidates that have already been authorized to run against them are thirty- and forty-somethings.

The LDP got this one right. The prime minister repeatedly made it known he was coming after Upper House candidates; his LDP (i.e. Mori faction) surrogates did the dirty work. For the most part an LDP family affair and not a matter of serious public concern, still, it was not a gimmie. Unless I've missed something, it's a real gain for Mr. Abe, who has given the LDP an opportunity to contest five seats with viable candidates.

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