Suga Wins Party Vote, all but assuring elections as Japan International News

 

 

Tokyo (AP): On Monday, Yoshihide Suga was elected as the new head of Japan’s ruling party, all but assuring that he will become the country’s new prime minister when a parliamentary election is held later in the week.

Despite his low-key image, Suga, 71, has been a key figure in outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration, serving as the government’s top spokesperson in his role as chief Cabinet secretary.

Suga’s victory in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party vote virtually guarantees his election in a parliamentary vote Wednesday because of the majority held by the LDP’s ruling coalition.

Suga, the son of a strawberry grower in northern Japan’s Akita prefecture, said he had come a long way. “I will devote all of myself to work for the nation and the people,” he said in his victory speech.

He has said that his top priorities will be fighting the coronavirus and turning around a Japanese economy battered by the pandemic. He gained the support of party heavyweights and their wing members early in the campaign on expectations that he would continue Abe’s policies.

Suga received 377 votes in Monday’s vote to pick a successor to Abe, who announced last month that he would resign due to health problems. Former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, one of the other two contenders, received 89 votes, while former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba got 68.

“Now I’m handing the baton to new LDP President Suga,” Abe said after the vote. “We can count on him.”

Suga is also known to have helped smooth out differences by keeping close ties with a centrist coalition partner, Komeito. His ties to the more dovish partner could make his administration less hawkish on national security issues, analysts say.

A man of self-discipline, his daily routine includes sit-ups and walking — in his business suits in the neighborhood of the parliament so he can immediately head to work in an emergency.

But he says he has a weakness: He loves sweets, namely pancakes and Japanese mochi with sweet bean paste inside. (AP)



Posted Date :  14-09-20

Categories : International News

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