Komeito party head Yamaguchi secures 5th term until 2018




Natsuo Yamaguchi, head of the Komeito party, which forms a ruling coalition with the Liberal Democratic Party, on Friday secured a fifth two-year term as party leader that lasts until September 2018.

Yamaguchi, 64, was the sole person to file his candidacy the same day for a party leadership contest, and his tenure renewal is expected to be formally approved at a party convention on Sept. 17.

In his new term as party head Yamaguchi will face the issue of how his party, backed by the major lay-Buddhist organization Soka Gakkai, should approach discussions over a possible amendment to Japan’s Constitution.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is eager to revise the supreme law, which he and likeminded lawmakers see as imposed on the Japanese people during the U.S.-led postwar occupation. The ultimate goal of his party, the LDP, is considered to be the revision of war-renouncing Article 9. Some Komeito members, however, have expressed reluctance to touch the provision.

Yamaguchi first assumed the top party post in 2009, when his predecessor Akihiro Ota stepped down after losing his lower house seat in an election. He has since won every party leadership contest unopposed.


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