Former Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki said Sunday that he will run in the election to choose the next leader of Prime Minister Taro Aso's Liberal Democratic Party, which was battered in last month's general election, Kyodo News reported.
"Someone must make the sacrifice following the (party's) heaviest defeat since its founding," the veteran LDP lawmaker said. "I've made up my mind to make that sacrifice myself so I can revitalize the party."
Tanigaki, 64, is the first to have announced an intention to stand in the Sept. 28 election, aimed at picking the successor to Aso, who is to step down as party president as well as prime minister on Wednesday.
Few have expressed any willingness to take the top party position given the daunting task of leading a party that has lost nearly two-thirds of the seats it held in the powerful House of Representatives. The LDP has fallen from power for only the second time in its 54-year history.
Farm minister Shigeru Ishiba and Taro Kono, the son of former LDP President Yohei Kono, are possible contenders although they have yet to reveal their intentions.
Tanigaki, who was reelected for a 10th term as a lower house member in the Aug. 30 election, made an unsuccessful bid in the September 2006 LDP presidential race, finishing third behind Shinzo Abe, who won and became prime minister, and Aso.
Candidacies for the LDP presidential race will be formally accepted on Friday.