Yoshihide Suga elected as Japan's new prime minister to succeed Abe

Wednesday September 16 2020

Newly elected leader of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Yoshihide Suga poses for a portrait at his office following a press conference at the party's headquarters in Tokyo on September 14, 2020. AFP PHOTO


Yoshihide Suga, the new leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, was chosen as Japan's new prime minister to succeed Shinzo Abe in an extraordinary parliamentary session on Wednesday.

The parliament formally chose Suga as the new prime minister in an extraordinary session in the afternoon.  Suga was elected by both chambers of parliament, winning 314 votes in the 465-member lower house and 142 votes in the 245-member upper house. 

The new prime minister is expected to form a Cabinet filled with ministers who served under Abe. His immediate focus is expected to be reviving the battered economy while keeping the COVID-19 epidemic under control.

Suga has vowed to push forward with Abe's policies such as "Abenomics", a mix of measures including monetary easing and fiscal stimulus aimed at easing deflation and stimulating growth in the Japanese economy.  

Apart from dealing with the short-term economic damage the COVID-19 epidemic has caused by forcing people to stay home and sharply reducing tourism from overseas, Suga will be tasked with raising Japan's decreasing birthrate and improving its dismal fiscal situation.