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Japan LDP's Ishiba says he'll run in party leadership race

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Former Japanese Defence Minister Shigeru Ishiba on Tuesday announced he will be running for the leadership of Japan’s ruling party and said he regretted that ordinary party members will be unable to vote.

Ishiba is a favourite to lead the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in opinion polls, but the slimmed-down version of the election that officials have announced is widely expected to work against him.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his resignation on Friday due to the worsening of a chronic health condition. Other contenders in the race are chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga, seen as the favourite, and former foreign minister Fumio Kishida.

Reporting by Antoni Slodkowski, writing by Elaine Lies, editing by Andrew Heavens

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