TOKYO -- Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) heavyweight Shigeru Ishiba, who has affirmed his candidacy in the upcoming party leadership race, declared on Aug. 29 that he has no intention of backing down from his campaign slogan calling for "honest, fair" politics.
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Ishiba, 61, former LDP secretary-general, had previously expressed the possibility that he would change his slogan due to criticism from inside the LDP that he was acting more like an opposition party, as his promise for honest and fair politics takes aim at favoritism scandals involving school operators Moritomo Gakuen and Kake Educational Institution surrounding his rival in the race, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
"Why is such a natural thing (the slogan) being criticized?" Ishiba asked during a speech in Tokyo on Aug. 29. "I am only stating that that is how I want to be."
Some within Ishiba's own faction have criticized him for wavering over his position. "The party presidential election is a battle. The 'bullet' he fired has proved effective. He shouldn't weaken that effect," one of them said.
(Japanese original by Keiko Takahashi, Political News Department)