Japan’s ex-Communications Minister announces LDP leadership bid

Japan’s former Communications Minister Seiko Noda has announced her decision enter the presidential election of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to be held on September 29, becoming the fourth candidate to join the race.

In a statement on Thursday, Noda said she has secured the necessary 20 nominations from lawmakers to enter the contest, though not belonging to any LDP factions, reports Xinhua news agency.

One of Noda’s policy priorities is to strengthen support for parents and solve the problem of Japan’s low birth rate.

Born in Fukuoka prefecture, Noda had worked at the high-end Imperial Hotel in Tokyo before entering the House of Representatives in 1993 from an electoral district in Gifu.

Besides Noda, the other candidates in the fray are former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, former Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi and Vaccine Minister Taro Kono.

Noda, aged 61, as well as Takaichi are both seeking to come into power as Japan’s first woman Prime Minister, a position the new LDP leader will take as the party controls the lower house of parliament.