Abe, Ishiba Launch Campaigns

Abe, Ishiba launch campaigns

Japan's Prime Minister and the former Secretary-General of the Liberal Democratic Party have officially launched their campaigns to lead the main ruling party. The race will also effectively decide who leads Japan.

Representatives from both Shinzo Abe and Shigeru Ishiba filed papers at party headquarters.

Abe is seeking a third straight term. Ishiba was the party's secretary-general as well as a cabinet minister.
A big focus of the campaign will be Abe's past 6 years in power.

Abe stressed his achievements, including improving the employment rate and strengthening diplomatic ties. His pitch is likely to say he would maintain political stability.

On the other hand, Ishiba says people have lost trust in politics. It's a reference to scandals that have dogged Abe, including allegations that officials gave a friend of his preferential treatment to open a veterinary school.
Ishiba vows to reform the country's ministries as well as the Diet.

Votes will be counted and the winner announced on September 20th.
There hasn't been a campaign for party leadership in 6 years, because the last time the role came open, Abe won uncontested.