Yoshihide Suga likely to succeed Shinzo Abe as Japan’s next PM

New Delhi, Sep 13 (UNI) Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, is most likely to be the country’s next Prime Minister succeeding Shinzo Abe, who announced his decision last month to step down on health grounds.

The election for Mr Abe’s successor will be held on Monday by Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Mr Suga considered Shinzo Abe’s right-hand man, is the front runner in the race to the Prime Minister’s post while former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba, a longtime Abe rival, and Fumio Kishida, a former foreign minister, once Mr Abe’s most likely successor, are the other two candidates.

Mr Abe had announced his decision to step down after nearly eight years in office.

A senior official here said all the probable candidates support Japan’s decision to forge closer security and defense ties with India and invest Japan’s surplus in Indian mega projects, like “Bullet Train”. ‘It is good news for India,’ the official added.

India and Japan are also part of the QUAD security dialogue that includes US and Australia as well. Japan has also extended support to India in the border conflict with China.

The incoming Prime Minister will have the most pressing task to lead Japan’s economic revival amid the corona crisis.

The election is decided by votes from 535 members of Parliament and three delegates each from the LDP’s 47 prefectural chapters. The election will decide who will serve out the rest of Abe’s term as party head which ends next September. Following the party vote, an extraordinary Diet session is expected to elect the new Prime Minister on Wednesday.

Front runner Yoshihide Suga promised on Saturday to stand his ground with Beijing, saying he will not be afraid to express Japan’s claims to China if he becomes the Prime Minister. “If there are assertions that should be made, I will make those assertions at high-level talks,” he said about Japan-Sino relations.

Mr Suga, 71, has been the public face of the Shinzo Abe administration as the government’s top spokesman for the last eight years but kept a relatively low profile.


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