Tanigaki withdraws from LDP leadership race


Sadakazu Tanigaki, the president of the main opposition Liberal Democratic party (LDP), dropped a bombshell on Monday when he announced that he was withdrawing from the party's leadership election scheduled for Sept 26.

Tanigaki's announcement at a hastily called news conference was a turnaround from Sunday's news conference when he assured reporters that he would run for a second time.

However, Tanigaki was facing a major challenge from his right-hand man, party Secretary-General Nobuteru Ishihara. The two men met three times over the past three days to try and iron out their differences. Tanigaki said that Ishihara's policies were basically the same as his and he couldn't understand the challenge, TV Asahi reported. But he cited a lack of support from the party rank-and-file for his decision.

Tanigaki's withdrawal leaves four other likely contenders besides Ishihara -- former Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura, former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (though he has not yet officially announced he is running) and former economic minister Yoshimasa Hayashi.

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Machimura will be--marginally--the least awful of the bunch, thank God Tanigaki withdrew but major concerns if either Ishiba or Ishihara take the role. Ishihara won't get it--he's too young, by LDP standards--and I think Ishiba is considered too far to the right, even by his LDP colleagues (and despite his efforts to soften his image by playing the "defense otaku" on variety shows). Abe won't get a second chance, so we're left with Machimura, something of a known quantity, or Hayashi, pretty much a cipher...

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The guy that cried when he didn't get his way? See ya! Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

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I agree Machimura seems to be the most decent man out of this bunch....(fairly moderate) but having decency won't get you far in politics. The other three are just awful!

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I somehow agree with all of your comments; they all are about persons, centre leaning, right leaning, etc. nothing much substantial about their proposals as to how to deal with the real problems the Japanese nation has to contend with, because actually they have none. And that's the real politics in Japan...but perhaps the likes of Hashimoto would bring in a wave of change, even if some think he is neo-fascist.

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tanigaki, you LOSER! Ever since 3/11 you have been putting your own country WAY DOWN THE LIST, you have been a total JERK! Whining constantly about elections when the country needed to come to together & try to best deal with SO MANY BIG ISSUES, & now when an election is iminent YOU CHICKEN OUT, boy what a pathetic piece of work you have become, the absolute worst of j-politicians you are a clear nominee.

I hop I never see your ugly mug again, Sa...YO...NA...RA!

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Figures the Complainer quit.

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Tanigaki knew his limits being the most unpopular tying relationship with DPJ to push the consumption tax hike bill into law grandscheme drawn by the Ministry of Finance and now thrown out like used tissue.

Both DPJ and LDP should really feel the wrath of the people and have their just dessert.

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Good riddance!

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Hurray! Just desserts for the most negative figure in Japanese politics (and that's quite an achievement).

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Amazing to see how universally disliked Tanigaki is, even by people completely invested in backing him. Life in opposition is tough. Don't let the door hit you on the way out!

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Tanigaki was basically a good man. One of the values I saw in him was his selflessness, which he seems to have maintained until the end. Clearly the biggest reason he did not get the blessing from the veterans (Mori et al) was that he simply did not listen to them during his presidency. If only he had a bit of Koizumi's talent in effectively communicating to the nation through the media thereby maintaining good approval ratings and keeping the old-timers quiet, then I think he would have done a decent job as PM.

Ishihara is very well regarded by these veterans most likely as a guy who listens, thus controllable. Meanwhile, many have criticized him for his lack of consistency and mental toughness, often easily giving in to his opponents and challenging situations. May be reminiscent of some of the typical prime ministers we have seen in the past coming out of good-old LDP. Don't think he takes much from his father less the occasional foot-in-mouth disease. Whatever controvercial remarks he is very likely to make quite often going forward, doubt he will be able to be as calculative and consistent as his father. Fear it may be a question of time before the public discovers the fundamental weakness in him.

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