As expected, Aso Taro (Aso faction, 66) has been moved over to party headquarters to become LDP secretary-general; whether this will be a career cul-de-sac for Aso remains to be seen, but it does mean that the face of party has some popularity with the public, given that Aso is something of a henjin. (It also suggests that Abe will be sharing power — Sankei is already calling it the Abe-Aso system.)
The new general affairs chairman, meanwhile, will be outgoing Kokutai chairman Nikai Toshihiro (Nikai faction, 68). Given the state of unrest within the LDP, Nikai may also be an improvement, being a voice of reason and compromise in the midst of ideologues.
Most interesting is the appointment of Ishihara Nobuteru (no faction), son of Tokyo governor Shintaro, as Nakagawa Shoichi’s successor as PARC chairman. Ishihara, who turned fifty earlier this year, held ministerial portfolios under Koizumi and is generally regarded as a future leader of the LDP. He is also a dedicated Koizumian, if the statement at his webpage on Japan in the twenty-first century is any indication.
Another Koizumi veteran, Oshima Tadamori (Tamura faction, 60), a MAFF minister under Koizumi, has been named the new Kokutai chairman. And Suga Yoshihide, who until recently was a candidate for a significant ministerial post, has been given the lowly post of election strategy chairman.