Nobuteru Ishihara, former policy chief of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), and Kaoru Yosano, state minister in charge of economic and fiscal policy, expressed their intentions on separate occasions Thursday to run for the LDP president.
Taro Aso, secretary general of the LDP, and Former Defense Minister Yuriko Koike have also indicated their willingness to run for the party chief in the election to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, and in turn to assume the premiership since Fukuda announced his unexpected decision to resign on Monday.
The ruling LDP decided Wednesday to have its presidential election on Sept. 22. And the official campaigns are scheduled to kick off on Sept. 10.
A total of 528 ballots, consisting of 387 ballots from Diet members and 141 from prefectural representatives, will be cast on the election day. And the result will be read out later in the day.