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Yoshihide Suga Named Japan’s New Prime Minister

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Yoshihide became Japan New Prime Minister on Wednesday, with the former chief cabinet secretary expected to stick closely to policies championed by Shinzo Abe during his record-breaking tenure.

Yoshihide Japan ‘s New Prime Minister 71, won an easy victory in a parliamentary vote, where his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) holds a commanding majority.

He bowed deeply as lawmakers applauded his win, but made no immediate comment. He is not expected to speak until late Wednesday when he gives his first press conference as prime minister.

Yoshihide Japan ‘s New Prime Minister new cabinet was announced shortly after the vote, with several ministers keeping their jobs, including Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Finance Minister Taro Aso.

Abe’s brother Nobuo Kishi, who was adopted by his uncle as a child and carries his surname, is the new defence minister, replacing Taro Kono, who becomes administrative reform minister.

Suga is seen as a continuity candidate and has said his run was inspired by a desire to pursue Abe’s policies, although analysts warned of challenges ahead.

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“Tough issues are mounting before the Suga cabinet,” said Shinichi Nishikawa, a professor of political science at Meiji University in Tokyo.

“The coronavirus is the top priority to tackle. On the diplomatic front, there are many uncertain factors, including the US presidential election,” he told AFP. 

Abe formally resigned earlier Wednesday along with his cabinet, ending his record run in office with a year left in his mandate.

He was forced out by a recurrence of ulcerative colitis, a bowel disease that has long plagued him.

Tokyo stock markets were largely unmoved by Suga’s election, and no major policy changes were expected when the Bank of Japan ends a two-day meeting on Thursday.

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