Kochikai makes like Jesus and comes back from the dead (maybe)

Yomiuri reports that a sleeping LDP faction appears to be reviving itself for the post-Koizumi horse race. The Cliffs Notes version follows, with Wikipedia links for those of you just joining us.

The Asian strategy study group, headed by Ichiro Aisawa, the LDP’s acting secretary general and a member of the Tanigaki faction, shows signs of being anti-Koizumi in outlook.

The group appears to have come into being in an attempt to bring the Kochikai faction back–reuniting the three factions while, at the same time, reining in Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe who has made a great show of following Koizumi’s reform policy …

Kochikai was a prestigious faction founded by late Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda. It forms part of the lineage of the Liberal Party and carved out a policy that called for the nation to be lightly armed and focus on the economy.

Mainstream and conservative, the faction produced four prime ministers. [Ikeda, Ohira, Suzuki and Miyazawa -ed.] However, it often found itself outside of the political power struggles that mattered, which led to it being ridiculed as a “group of court nobles.” …

If the reunited faction takes an anti-Koizumi policy line by being pro-Chinese in terms of its Asian diplomacy and seeking to correct the economic disparity in Japan, it would be hard for its members to support Aso.

If Aso’s attempts to seek the highest position in the party through the reunited faction is derailed, he will be inclined to instead seek the support of the Mori and Tsushima factions.

Tanigaki is trying to win the support of the three factions, but whether he will succeed in bringing them together is still uncertain–some members harbor hard feelings over events that took place when the Kochikai faction was last active.

The unification of the three factions may need to wait for the party presidential election after this one.