Japan's Liberal Democrats split on Suzuki successor

Rifts are widening in Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party over its failure to pick a successor to outgoing Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki, political sources said.

The party was plunged into turmoil when four Cabinet ministers launched their campaigns for a preliminary leadership election of the LDP, which has more than 1 million members. This followed the failure of party leaders at a marathon 12 -hour meeting to agree on a joint candidate and avert a prolonged and potentially divisive battle over the succession.

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