In an opinion piece on 3 July in The China Post, longtime Japan-watcher Joe Hung offers both genealogical and historical perspectives on the three top contenders for leadership of Japan’s ruling LDP.
Nobusuke Kishi vowed on his eighty-eighth birthday he would revise the Constitution to make Japan a normal country. Standing by the side of Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe, who organized the birthday party for him in 1984, Kishi said he would dedicate the rest of his life to the rewriting of what is popularly called the MacArthur constitution, which forbids Japan from waging war. Kishi was the prime minister who signed a new mutual defense treaty between Japan and the United States in 1960 and stepped down after he had rammed it through the Diet for ratification against the opposition-led boycott, that forced President Dwight D. Eisenhower to cancel a scheduled visit to Tokyo after Taipei to celebrate the exchange of ratifications. Abe was Kishi’s son-in-law….
Shinzo Abe, the son of Shintaro Abe, is Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s chief Cabinet secretary. He is far in front of rivals in the Liberal Democratic Party race to succeed Koizumi, come next September…. His chief rival, Yasuo Fukuda, trails far behind with a mere 14 percent support. After Fukuda comes Taro Aso, foreign minister. Both are political bluebloods: Fukuda, the son of former Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda, was the chief Cabinet secretary before Abe, and Aso is a grandson of the legendary Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida.