Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader Sadakazu Tanigaki received a setback Monday in his bid to be re-elected party president when Makoto Koga, the head of his faction, refused to back him.
Koga told reporters after the meeting that he preferred to support a younger candidate, Sankei Shimbun reported. He added the party needs to nurture a new generation of younger leaders.
Tanigaki, 67, said he cannot run away from his responsibility and said he will seek support from all factions, Sankei reported. The LDP leader said his goal is to return the party to power and implement tax and social security reform.
So far, Nobutaka Machimura and Nobuteru Ishihara have signaled their intention to vie for the leadership, while Shigeru Ishiba and Shinzo Abe are expected to toss their hats in the ring later this week.
Campaigning begins on Sept 14 and the election will be held on Sept 26.