This is an ex-faction!

Speaking of predictions, the destruction of the Machimura faction is proceeding apace.

Before the LDP’s September election, I asked whether anyone thinks that “the Machimura faction, that 89-member monster of a faction that sits at the intersection of the LDP’s divisions between ‘neo-liberal’ reformers, party leaders, and ideological conservatives, will survive this party election.”

Events appear to confirm that the Machimura faction is on its last legs, if it is not already dead.

Yomiuri reports that in connection with Nakagawa Hidenao’s perceived “anti-Aso” efforts, the rift between Mr. Nakagawa and party and faction elders Mori Yoshiro and Machimura Nobutaka — already pronounced before Aso Taro’s ascendance — has widened. Mr. Machimura, along with fellow faction member Abe Shinzo, has emerged as a prominent critic of the prime minister’s critics, including Mr. Nakagawa.

Is it reasonable to speak of the Machimura faction as a single faction? Is membership in the faction the most meaningful affiliation for its members, as opposed to membership in study groups and other organizations?

How long before the faction officially splinters? And if the Machimura faction cannot hold, can the LDP, of which the Machimura faction is a microcosm, endure?

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