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Japan’s Yoshihide Suga elected prime minister, to announce ‘continuity’ cabinet

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Japan's parliament on Wednesday elected Yoshihide Suga prime minister, with the former chief cabinet secretary expected to stick closely to policies championed by Shinzo Abe during his record-breaking tenure.

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"According to the results, our house has decided to name Yoshihide Suga prime minister," lower house speaker Tadamori Oshima told parliament after the votes were counted.

Suga, a longtime aide and chief cabinet secretary under outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, on Monday won a landslide victory to take over the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). He pledged to carry on many of Abe's programmes, including his signature "Abenomics" economic strategy.

Japan formally elects new prime minister

He faces numerous challenges, including tackling Covid-19 while reviving a battered economy and dealing with a rapidly aging society, in which nearly a third of the population is older than 65.

Abe, whose support was critical in ensuring Suga's victory in the party election this week, entered the prime minister's office on the last day of his tenure and thanked the people of Japan, vowing to support the incoming government as a regular member of parliament.

Abe added that the medicine he's taking for his chronic illness is working that and he is recovering.

Earlier, in a video posted on Twitter, he looked back at his record.

"Sadly, we were not able to achieve some goals," he said, in an apparent reference to his long-held desire to revise the pacifist constitution, something Suga does not seem eager to pursue. "However, we were able to take a shot at, and achieve, other divisive issues."

His government re-interpreted the constitution to allow troops to fight overseas for the first time since World War Two and also ended a ban on defending a friendly country under attack.

According to media reports, roughly half the cabinet will be made up of people from the Abe cabinet, and there are only two women. The average age, including Suga, is 60.

Among those retaining their jobs are key players such as Finance Minister Taro Aso, Minister of Foreign Affairs Toshimitsu Motegi and several others, including Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto and Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi.

Abe's younger brother, Nobuo Kishi, is expected to be tapped for the defence portfolio, while current Defence Minister Taro Kono will take charge of administrative reform.Read More – Source