LDP Selects Non-Factional Experienced Members for Key Positions; Tokai Named Policy Chief, Hamada as Diet Affairs Chief

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) made a significant decision on Friday regarding the replacement of party executives involved in an alleged hidden political funds scandal that has impacted the Abe faction. During a General Council meeting, the ruling party approved the appointment of Kisaburo Tokai and Yasukazu Hamada to key positions within the party, both of whom have no faction affiliation. This move comes as the LDP faces increased scrutiny and pressure from the public and opposition parties due to the ongoing scandal.

Kisaburo Tokai, a 75-year-old former education, culture, sports, science and technology minister, will take over as chairperson of the Policy Research Council, replacing Koichi Hagiuda. Meanwhile, 68-year-old former Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada has been chosen to lead the party’s Diet Affairs Committee, replacing Tsuyoshi Takagi. Notably, neither Tokai nor Hamada belong to any LDP faction, in contrast to their predecessors who were members of the faction once led by the late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The decision to appoint members with no faction affiliation is seen as a strategic move by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who is also the LDP president, to address the current challenging situation faced by the party. With the public increasingly critical of LDP factions, Kishida aims to demonstrate a commitment to overcoming the scandal by appointing experienced individuals to key positions responsible for directing the party’s policy making and managing Diet affairs.

Kisaburo Tokai, having been elected 10 times to the House of Representatives from Hyogo Constituency No. 10, is known for his policy expertise in education and science and technology. He previously left the LDP in 1993 to partake in the formation of the New Party Sakigake before rejoining the LDP. Tokai has emphasized the need to eliminate the detrimental effects of LDP factions, expressing his willingness to carry out political reform in response to the recent scandal. Additionally, he has proposed the establishment of a new intraparty body to address these concerns.

Yasukazu Hamada, also elected to the lower house 10 times from Chiba Constituency No. 12, brings a wealth of political experience to his new role. Having previously served as defense minister under the cabinets of Taro Aso and Kishida, Hamada is well-connected even among opposition parties. His appointment reflects the LDP’s push to strengthen its position and governance while navigating the aftermath of the political funds scandal.

As the LDP enters this new phase with a revamped leadership lineup, the party aims to rebuild public trust and address the challenges ahead. The appointments of Tokai and Hamada signal a deliberate shift away from factional affiliations, setting the stage for potential reforms and a renewed focus on policy-making and managing Diet affairs within the party.


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