Senior lawmaker Ozawa to run against Japan PM for ruling party leadership

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's prime minister will have to fight for his job next month when the ruling party holds its leadership election.

Senior lawmaker Ichiro Ozawa said Thursday he will run against Prime Minister Naoto Kan for head of the Democratic Party in its Sept. 14 election.

Ozawa is unpopular with the public but is considered one of the most powerful figures in Japanese politics. He is renowned as a back-room dealer and election strategist.

He resigned from his post as the party's No. 2 official in June amid a campaign finance scandal.

An Ozawa victory would set the 68-year-old up to become Japan's sixth prime minister in three years.