2008 Liberal Democratic Party (Japan) leadership election


A leadership election was held in the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan on 22 September 2008 after the incumbent party leader and Prime Minister of Japan Yasuo Fukuda announced that he would resign on 1 September 2008, only 11 months after taking office on 25 September 2007 following a leadership election on 23 September 2007. Taro Aso, who had lost to Fukuda in the 2007 leadership election, was widely seen as the frontrunner to replace him,[1] and announced on 2 September 2008 he was ready to take over as party leader.[2] Aso won the leadership election against four opponents, receiving 67% of the vote.[3]

2008 Liberal Democratic Party leadership election

← 2007 22 September 2008 2009 →
  Taro Aso 20080924.jpg Kaoru Yosano cropped 1 Timothy Geithner and Kaoru Yosano 20090424.jpg Yuriko Koike, Aug. 17, 2007.jpg
Candidate Tarō Asō Kaoru Yosano Yuriko Koike
LDP MPs 217 64 46
Party members 134 2 0
Total 351 66 46

  Ishihara Nobuteru - Wakaba Station - 20100703.JPG Gates meets Ishiba 8 November 2007 cropped for Ishiba.jpg
Candidate Nobuteru Ishihara Shigeru Ishiba
LDP MPs 36 21
Party members 1 4
Total 37 25

President before election

Yasuo Fukuda

Elected President

Tarō Asō

Headquarters of Liberal Democratic Party, at 22 September 2008.

It was reported that Yuriko Koike, a former defence chief who is seen as close to former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, might stand against Aso; in that case, the LDP leadership election would be a decision between the conservative traditionalist Aso and the unorthodox reformist Koike.[4] Economics minister Kaoru Yosano and former transport minister Nobuteru Ishihara, the son of the controversial right-wing nationalist governor of Tokyo Shintarō Ishihara, also indicated they might run,[5] as did former defence minister Shigeru Ishiba, senior vice foreign minister Ichita Yamamoto and former science and economic minister Yasufumi Tanahashi.[6] Campaigning began on 10 September 2008;[7] a total of 528 people are eligible to vote (387 Diet members and 141 prefectural representatives).[8]

To stand in the election, candidates had to gather twenty signatures from electors. Aso formally declared his candidacy on 5 September 2008,[9] and Koike on 8 September 2008.[10] Yosano, Ishiba and Ishihara also filed to run, while Yamamoto and Tanahashi decided not to stand for the leadership.[11][12] Koizumi announced he would support and vote for Koike.[13]

By election day, Aso had secured the votes of at least 60% of the electors and was assumed to win the election in the first round.[14]

Aso went on to win the election by a landslide 351 votes. Yosano got 66 votes, Koike 46, Ishihara 37 and Ishiba 25.[3][15] Aso was sworn in as Prime Minister on 24 September 2008. Some speculated that a general election would be called on 3 October for 26 October 2008 following the leadership election, but this failed to materialise.[16][17][18][19]


Candidates Members Party Total
Taro Aso 134 217 351
Kaoru Yosano 2 64 66
Yuriko Koike 0 46 46
Nobuteru Ishihara 1 36 37
Shigeru Ishiba 4 21 25
Grand Total 141 384 525
  • 2 invalid votes

Past leadership electionsEdit


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-09-05. Retrieved 2008-09-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Japan's Aso 'ready for PM role'
  3. ^ a b "Aso elected LDP head", The Yomiuri Shimbun, 22 September 2008.
  4. ^ AFP: Koike eyes bid as Japan's first woman PM Archived 2011-05-20 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Japanese leadership race hots up
  6. ^ Search - Global Edition - The New York Times
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ Ishihara, Yosano voice intentions to stand for LDP presidential election - People's Daily Online
  9. ^ Aso formally announces bid for Japan's ruling party presidency - People's Daily Online
  10. ^ Koike kandidiert für Amt des japanischen Regierungschefs (International, NZZ Online)
  11. ^ "The Times & the Sunday Times".
  12. ^ Official campaigning starts to choose new Japanese leader - People's Daily Online
  13. ^ Japans Expremier Koizumi will eine Frau an der Macht - Politik - dieStandard.at › Politik
  14. ^ Aso zum LDP-Vorsitzenden gewählt - Japan - derStandard.at › International
  15. ^ AFP.com - International News, Photos, Videos, Graphics, World[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ Japan Election May Come by November, LDP Strategist Koga Says - Bloomberg.com
  17. ^ Fünf Kandidaten wollen glücklosen Regierungschef beerben - Japan - derStandard.at › International
  18. ^ Japan to dissolve lower house in October for November election - report - Forbes.com
  19. ^ Japan's LDP Eyes Election as Early as Oct. 26, Yomiuri Says - Bloomberg.com