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Abe set to win party election but risks losing policy debate

Leadership challenger raises pressure on Japan's premier for economic reform

| Japan
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, can borrow ideas from Shigeru Ishiba, the contender tor the ruling party's top post.   © Reuters

Japanese elections tend to be referendums on economic stewardship. Unfortunately, on Sept. 20, the leadership candidate with the best ideas for rekindling the world's third-biggest economy has minimal chances of winning.

In a vote of party members and lawmakers, Shinzo Abe is virtually certain to secure his third term as Liberal Democratic Party president, and by extension prime minister, even as the most sense about innovation and competitiveness comes from rival Shigeru Ishiba.

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