The destruction of the Machimura faction proceeds apace.
In an interview with the Asahi Shimbun Wednesday, Mori Yoshiro, former prime minister and Machimura faction don, described criticism of the Aso government by Nakagawa Hidenao, a titular head of the faction, as a “total rebellion” and said he wants to see Mr. Nakagawa step down from his leadership post. He also said it doesn’t matter whether Mr. Nakagawa leaves the faction. His job, Mori said, “is to protect Aso-san.” As the self-appointed defender of the Aso government, Mr. Mori also offered his opinions on the timing of a general election (September if possible, but probably after the passage of the budget), whether Mr. Aso should be replaced before a general election (absolutely not), and the key to Mr. Aso’s recovery (cabinet reshuffle). There’s also a somewhat resigned tone, as Mr. Mori spoke of the possibility of Mr. Aso’s being the LDP’s last president.
The Mainichi Shimbun, meanwhile, has reported on the “gradual isolation” of Mr. Nakagawa within the faction. By isolation, I assume Mainichi means his isolation from the faction’s leaders, because if they opt to drive Mr. Nakagawa opt, I suspect that he will take a good portion of the faction with him. Mainichi quotes Mr. Mori as accusing Mr. Nakagawa of sabotage, conduct unbecoming a faction chief.
This is an ex-faction.