Former Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was voted prime minister by parliament’s lower house, becoming the country’s first new leader in nearly eight years. Abe resigned because of ill health, source CNBC.
Suga, 71, won 314 votes out of 462 cast by lower house members. He has pledged to pursue many of Abe’s programs, including his signature “Abenomics” economic strategy, and to forge ahead with structural reforms.
Yoshihide Suga is expected to keep about half of predecessor Shinzo Abe’s lineup as he readied a “continuity cabinet”.
Finance Minister Taro Aso and Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, along with Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto and Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi will be retained. Abe’s younger brother, Nobuo Kishi, is likely to be tapped for the defense portfolio, while outgoing Defense Minister Taro Kono will take charge of administrative reform.
Yasutoshi Nishimura will remain economy minister, while Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama will also retain his post.
Katsunobu Kato, outgoing health minister is expected to become chief cabinet secretary.
Suga, who won a ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leadership on Monday, will face lots of challenges, including tackling COVID-19 and reviving economy, diplomatic feud between U.S.-China, and build and maintain its own relations with U.S. and China, respectively.
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