Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Tuesday decided not to field candidates in two of this month's three House of Representatives by-elections in view of sluggish support rates for the LDP in the wake of a political funds scandal, a senior lawmaker said.

Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Toshimitsu Motegi (L) speaks to reporters at the party's headquarters in Tokyo on April 2, 2024. (Kyodo) 

Up for grabs on April 28 are lower chamber seats in the Tokyo No. 15 district, Shimane No. 1 district and Nagasaki No. 3 district, all of which were held by the LDP led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, before they became vacant.

LDP Secretary General Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters that the party is arranging to support the well-known author Hirotada Ototake, who is backed by a regional party founded by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, in the capital's race.

The LDP has been struggling to find a candidate in the Nagasaki poll after the LDP lawmaker who held it stepped down over the funds scandal, which emerged late last year.

In Shimane, the election is set to be a one-on-one battle between the LDP and the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan.

The LDP has come under intense scrutiny since some of its factions were found to have neglected to report portions of fundraising party revenue for years.

If the party performs poorly in the Shimane constituency, Kishida may face pressure from LDP members to step down before the next general election.

There has been speculation that he will dissolve the lower house for a general election ahead of the party's presidential race, which will take place sometime around September.

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