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Rival Candidates Battle on Social Media Ahead of Japan’s Election

Taro Kono, from left, Fumio Kishida, Sanae Takaichi and Seiko Noda on Sept. 18.

Taro Kono, from left, Fumio Kishida, Sanae Takaichi and Seiko Noda on Sept. 18.

Photographer: Eugene Hoshiko/AP Photo/Bloomberg

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The four candidates seeking to replace outgoing Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga are battling on social media and in a series of online debates as they look to firm up support before a party leadership election in five days.

Candidates Fumio Kishida, Sanae Takaichi, Taro Kono and Seiko Noda are reaching out to the rank-and-file members of the Liberal Democratic Party on Twitter and YouTube. The race is still fairly wide open, as many of the party’s powerful factions haven’t lined up behind one contender in the Sept. 29 leadership election. Kono has the most followers on Twitter -- about 2.4 million on his Japanese-language account -- while Takaichi attracted attention by uploading a video of her discussions with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen this week.