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Saturday, 19th September 2020

Yoshihide Suga Elected Japan’s New Prime Minister, Will Succeed Shinzo Abe

By Pragya Gouhari -
  • Updated
  • :
  • 16th September 2020,
  • 11:54 AM

Japan's parliament has elected Yoshihide Suga as the country's new prime minister, following the resignation of Shinzo Abe.

Yoshihide Suga is now the Prime Minister of Japan.

After winning the leadership of the governing party earlier this week, Wednesday’s vote confirms the former Chief Cabinet Secretary’s new position.A close ally of Mr Abe, the new prime minister is expected to continue his predecessor’s policies.

Shinzo Abe announced his resignation last month citing ill health.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Abe held his final cabinet meeting and told reporters he was proud of his achievements during his nearly eight years in power. Mr Suga then easily won a poll for prime minister in the Diet, Japan’s lower house, receiving 314 out of 462 votes.

Given that a coalition headed by his conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) holds the majority in the house, his win was widely expected. Along with his new cabinet he will later be ceremonially endorsed by the emperor at the Imperial Palace.

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Shinzo Abe resigned due to ill health.

Challenges ahead : A veteran politician and long-time cabinet member he takes the lead at a difficult time for the world’s third-largest economy.

Like many other nations, Japan is struggling with the coronavirus pandemic which has caused the biggest economic slump on record following years of economic stagnation.

The country is also dealing with a rapidly aging society, with nearly a third of the population older than 65. Mr Suga has served for years as Chief Cabinet Secretary, the most senior role in government after the prime minister.

About Yoshihide Suga : Born the son of strawberry farmers, the veteran politician comes from a humble background that sets him apart from much of Japan’s political elite.

The 71-year rose only slowly within the political ranks. He first worked as a secretary for an LDP lawmaker before eventually embarking on his own political career, from city council elections to becoming a member of the Diet in 1996.

In 2005 he became a cabinet minister under Junichiro Koizumi and gained further influence in the subsequent Abe cabinet. As Mr Abe’s right-hand man, he gained a reputation for being efficient and practical and the outgoing prime minister strongly supported his ally’s bid for the leadership.

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