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Japan's ex-defense chief declares bid to topple Abe

Ishiba seen as lone challenger to prime minister in party leadership race

Shigeru Ishiba, challenging Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for leadership of their party, touted electoral reform over amending Japan's constitution.

TOKYO -- A long-time rival of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared his candidacy Friday for president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, looking to deny Abe a third consecutive term and take over as the nation's leader.

"I wish to pursue politics that is honest, fair, humble and meticulous," Shigeru Ishiba, a former defense minister, told reporters inside the parliament building.

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