The five politicians vying to become Japan’s next Prime Minister have held their last “beauty contest” ahead of a party vote. The favourite is Taro Aso, the current Foreign Minister, whose brash and hawkish character is seen as vitally-different in the often-taciturn and low key world of Japanese politics.
Apart from Aso, the ruling Liberal Democrats can choose from Economics Minister Kaoru Yosano, the youthful Nobuteru Ishihara, a former Defence Minister Shigeru Ishiba, and the first woman to try for the job, Yuriko Koike. The former television presenter is a protegee of a former popular Japanese leader, Junichiro Koizumi, and she hopes her experience in the Defence Ministry will win support in uncertain times.
The victor is expected to call a snap election, to take advantage of any bounce in public support.