I noted in a recent post that the opposition DPJ has just adopted a rule that would prohibit politicians from retiring from politics and letting their relatives run to replace them. This has long been a common practice in Japan, when long-serving members of the Diet retire and have sons or other close relatives run in their place.
Following on the DPJ adopting this rule, the papers are reporting today that the LDP is now discussing a similar prohibition, which could be implemented as early as the next election. Why is this a big deal? Because former PM Junichiro Koizumi is stepping down and is trying to hand off his seat to his son, Shinjiro Koizumi. Shinjiro would be prohibited from running as an LDP candidate if this rule is ultimately passed before the upcoming election. (Another candidate who would be prohibited from running would be Shouichi Usui, son of Hideo Ushi, a former Minister of Justice.)
There are ways for Shinjiro to get around this, of course. One option is for him to just run as an independent, and join the LDP after he’s elected (not an uncommon practice, and a path followed by some such as Makiko Tanaka). But I find it interesting that the LDP is choosing to adopt this policy now. While it’s probably a reactionary move to the DPJ’s platform, the motivation of some pushing this policy must surely be to snub the man who promised to destroy the LDP.