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LDP bigwig tells party legislators to ignore criticism, contradicts PM Abe's remark

LDP Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai (Mainichi)

OSAKA -- Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), suggested to members of his intraparty faction here that LDP legislators should work hard without listening to opinions critical of the party.

    "People talk about the LDP in various ways, but we must work hard and be bold with confidence -- without listening to such voices," Nikai said at the seminar held in Osaka on July 26.

    His remarks could be taken to mean that LDP members do not have to pay attention to criticism, and contradict a statement that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently made to the effect that he will deliver a careful explanation about a series of scandals from the public's viewpoint following a sharp decline in his Cabinet's approval rating.

    Nikai also lashed out at media outlets critical of the Abe government. "There are people who joyfully write about baseless things. Since people pay fees, writers should take responsibility for what they write," Nikai said.

    During the campaign for the July Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election, Nikai also criticized the media as if to suppress news coverage. "If you think you can make us lose, just do it. It'd be a serious mistake if the media think they can influence the election outcome," he said in a campaign speech.

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