Before he announced his resignation on Tuesday (26 November), Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka called close aides to his private residence in Tokyo to discuss the problem of choosing his successor.
SV LOP Sec-Gen Nikaido and Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeshita and Tanaka at the premier's residence
GV & SV Nikaido, Takeshita and Tanaka talking to each other (3 shots)
GV Press outside Tanaka's residence
GV Tanaka comes out and walks with pressmen (2 shots)
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Background: Before he announced his resignation on Tuesday (26 November), Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka called close aides to his private residence in Tokyo to discuss the problem of choosing his successor.
Mr. Tanaka is expected to stay in office for another 10 days as "caretaker" until a successor is found.
At the meeting at Mr. Tanaka's home on Sunday (24 November), the Secretar General os the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Susumu Nikaido, and the Chief Cabinet Secretary, Noburu Takeshita, were thought to have discussed ways of ensuring his successor came from within the Tanaka faction in Japanese politics.
The prime contender is Finance Minister Masayoshi Ohira, 64, who had been a close friend of Mr. Tanaka and has the support of a powerful faction within the LDP.
His main rival is a former Finance Minister, Takeo Fukuda, 69, who resigned last July and has been a main critic of the Prime Minister's "big money" policies. Mr. Fukuda lost the party leadership to Mr. Tanaka in 1972.
Reporters who met Mr. Tanaka outside his house on Monday (25 November) morning said Mr. Tanaka appeared to be relaxed, despite his imminent resignation.
Mr. Tanaka's popularity started to fall a few months ago when rising inflation hit Japan. The latest opinion poll showed his support had dropped to just below 11 percent, compared to the more than 60 percent shortly after his appointment.