Yoshihide Suga will be Japan’s next prime minister after winning ruling party leadership race
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, a loyal aide of outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, won a landslide victory in a ruling party leadership election on Monday, paving the way for him to replace Abe.
Suga, 71, who has said he would pursue Abe’s key economic and foreign policies, won 377 votes out of 534 votes cast, and 535 possible votes, in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) election by the party’s members of parliament and representatives of its 47 local chapters.
Suga is virtually certain to be elected prime minister in a parliamentary vote on Wednesday because of the LDP’s majority in the lower house. He will serve out Abe’s term as party leader through September 2021.
Abe, Japan’s longest-serving premier, said last month he would quit because of ill health, ending a nearly eight-year term.
Suga has said he would continue Abe’s signature “Abenomics” strategy of hyper-easy monetary policy, government spending and reforms while juggling the problems of Covid-19 and a slumping economy, and confronting longer-term issues such as Japan’s ageing population and low birth rate.