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Yoshihide Suga elected as Japan’s new Prime Minister, succeeds Shinzo Abe

Sept. 16, 2020, 4:02 p.m.

Tokyo: Yoshihide Suga, the new leader of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, was elected as the new Prime Minister to succeed Shinzo Abe in an extraordinary parliamentary session on Wednesday.

Yoshihide Suga has been chosen as Japan’s 99th Premier in the Diet.

The political transition comes after Shinzo Abe’s surprise announcement last month, that he would step down to deal with health issues. Yoshihide Suga won a commanding victory in Monday’s vote for the leader of the main ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), reports NHK.

Yoshihide Suga is well known to the Japanese as the voice of Japan’s longest-serving government, acting as Shinzo Abe’s Chief Cabinet Secretary for more than seven years.

Later in the day, Yoshihide Suga will announce the members of his new cabinet before being formally inaugurated at a ceremony at the Imperial Palace.

At the age of 71, Yoshihide Suga will be the oldest Prime Minister to take office since Kiichi Miyazawa in 1991. His premiership will last through the remainder of Shinzo Abe’s term as LDP leader until September 2021, Xinhua news agency reported.

In the run-up to his inauguration, Yoshihide Suga said he would continue to promote Shinzo Abe’s policies, including his “Abenomics” of aggressive monetary easing, fiscal stimulus and structural reforms, to breathe life back into the recession-hit Japanese economy.

Yoshihide Suga will also continue the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, utilising the 230 trillion yen (2.2 trillion US dollar) package allocated for tackling the disease.

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