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Eyeing stable government, Kishida secures cooperation from top LDP faction bosses

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday met with Liberal Democratic Party Vice President Taro Aso and Secretary-General Toshimitsu Motegi to confirm close cooperation ahead of an extraordinary parliamentary session in December.

Kishida had Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno attend the lunch meeting in Tokyo, apparently in hopes that Matsuno will serve as a mediator between the government and the ruling LDP.

The meeting, held at the proposal of Kishida, went on for about an hour at a restaurant in a hotel near the LDP’s headquarters.

The four talked about how Diet deliberations should proceed over the large-scale economic measures adopted by the government Friday.

Last week, Kishida met twice with Aso and Motegi. Talks among the four government and LDP leaders “are likely to be held regularly,” one of the attendees said.

Kishida apparently hopes to ensure stability of his administration by gaining cooperation from LDP factions bigger than his own. Kishida, president of the party, leads the fifth-biggest faction with 42 members.

Aso’s faction has 53 members, while Motegi is set to become the head of the faction formerly led by the recently deceased Wataru Takeshita with 51 members.

On Wednesday, Kishida met with former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the leader of the party’s largest faction with 93 members.

Before the extraordinary Diet session opens, the first meeting of the LDP’s reform headquarters, led by Motegi, will be held Thursday.

The government needs full support from the LDP to smoothly compile a fiscal 2022 supplementary budget.

In the past, the chief Cabinet secretary usually served as a coordinator between the government and the ruling party. As Matsuno is said to be not good at that job, however, Kishida set up the four-way meeting, a party source said.

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