Photo/IllutrationPrime Minister Shinzo Abe and Shigeru Ishiba, a former LDP secretary-general, are running in the party's presidential election, which kicked off on Sept. 7. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

The campaign kicked off Sept. 7 for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s presidential election, a one-on-one race between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba.

The election, the party’s first in six years, is scheduled for Sept. 20.

Abe, 63, is seeking his third three-year term as a LDP president, while Ishiba, 61, a former LDP secretary-general, says he wants to regain public trust in the party.

Subjects for debate in the campaign will likely include Abe’s leadership style over the past five years and nine months and revisions to the Constitution.

The LDP decided to postpone until Sept. 10 or later a joint news conference between the candidates, speeches and other election-related activities because of the Sept. 6 earthquake in Hokkaido.

On the morning of Sept. 7, Abe attended meetings to discuss quake-response measures, including one held at the prime minister’s office.

Although reporters sought interviews after he filed his candidacy, Abe declined, saying he was focused on the disaster response.

During the campaign, Abe is expected to boast of the achievements from his economic policy package known as “Abenomics,” as well as his close relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Ishiba will likely emphasize his stance of regaining trust in politics, in light of the scandals involving Moritomo Gakuen and the Kake Educational Institution that raised allegations of cronyism against Abe and his wife.

Ishiba, emphasizing a “post-Abenomics” period, told reporters, “My policy direction is the same (as Abe’s), but my method and sense of crisis over certain things are different.”

The election will be a battle over 810 votes--405 from LDP Diet members, and 405 among 1,040,000 party members and associates. The chairs of the Upper House and Lower House will not vote.

Abe has an overwhelming advantage in votes from LDP lawmakers, meaning Ishiba will focus on gaining support at the local level.