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Beijing eyes fate of pro-China heavyweight as Japan picks leader

LDP Secretary-General Nikai viewed as guardian of bilateral ties

Pictured left to right: LDP Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. (Source photos by AP and Kyodo) 

Tetsushi Takahashi was Nikkei's China bureau chief from April 2017 to March 2021 and the writer for the Beijing Diary column.

TOKYO -- The leadership election for Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, set for Sept. 29, has drawn keen interest from observers around the world, including China. But Japan's premiership is not the only thing at stake in the vote. Beijing is also concerned about how much influence the pro-China heavyweight LDP Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai will retain within the party.

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