Three lawmakers declared their candidacies Friday for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) president election.
Former Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki, Taro Kono, son of former House of Representatives Speaker Yohei Kono, and Yasutoshi Nishimura will compete for the top party post in the contest scheduled for Sept. 28.
The top LDP office has been vacant since former Prime Minister Taro Aso, who doubled as LDP party chief, stepped down from both posts on Wednesday.
In the upcoming election, 199 LDP law makers in the Diet and 300 local LDP members will cast their ballots to choose the 24th LDP president.
In the historic general election on Aug. 30, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) won by a landslide, breaking the half-centurylock of the LDP on power. Japan has thus witnessed a real change of government for the first time in the postwar era.
The upcoming race will be the second presidential election, following the 1993 leadership race, to be held with the LDP out ofpower since its founding in 1955.