Tanigaki tells Koizumi of decision to run in LDP president election.
Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki told Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Thursday he will run in the Liberal Democratic Party presidency election in September and the premier responded by encouraging him to try his best.
Tanigaki said he explained to Koizumi that since the LDP's regional conventions will begin Friday, he will announce his candidacy in a news conference Thursday afternoon so as to clearly communicate his views to the public. He will become the first candidate to officially throw his hat in the ring for the Sept. 20 election.
''It's tough but try your best. After going through it (the party leadership race) once, you'd probably not want to do it again,'' Koizumi was quoted by Tanigaki as saying jokingly. ''But it's a rare opportunity so go ahead with it boldly.''
After meeting with Koizumi, Tanigaki formally announced his candidacy at a general meeting of his LDP faction.
Tanigaki trails behind other hopefuls, namely Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Taro Aso, in public support as next premier. Abe and Aso are expected to announce their candidacies in late August.