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EDITORIAL: Bleak legacies of Abe and Suga a key test for LDP hopefuls

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The ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s leadership race officially kicked off Sept. 17 with four candidates competing to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who replaced Shinzo Abe just a year ago.

The winner will be confronted from day one with the task of leading Japan’s efforts to bring the novel coronavirus pandemic under control and immediately face the public's verdict on the new administration in the Lower House election that must be held this autumn.

We urge the candidates to compete for support not only from party members to their prescriptions for tackling key policy challenges facing the nation. If they are to regain public trust in the ruling party, they also need to offer their overall assessments of the achievements and failures of Abe’s seven years and eight months in office and Suga’s one-year tenure as well as demonstrate how they intend to clean up the negative legacies of those two leaders' policies.

Four LDP members of the Lower House joined the race: Taro Kono, the state minister in charge of administrative reform; Fumio Kishida, a former LDP policy chief; Sanae Takaichi, a former internal affairs minister; and Seiko Noda, the LDP executive acting secretary-general. Noda secured the minimum endorsement of 20 LDP........

© The Asahi Shimbun

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