TOKYO -- Senior ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) officials decided to suspend the first three days of official campaigning for the upcoming party presidential election starting Sept. 7 in response to a deadly earthquake that hit Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido on Sept. 6.
LDP Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai told reporters, "The only thing we will do on the 7th is filing of candidacies. We will refrain from campaigning for three days and do our best in disaster recovery efforts."
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, 63, and former LDP Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba, 61, will run in the election. Originally, the two candidates were scheduled to have a press conference and announce their respective policies at the party headquarters in Tokyo on Sept. 7, and take part in a debate at the Japan National Press Club.
(Japanese original by Nozomu Takeuchi, Political News Department)