Japan’s New Prime Minister Takes Office

Fumio Kishida has formally taken office as Japan’s new prime minister, succeeding YoshihideSuga who resigned after just one year in office.

MrKishida, 64, won the race to lead Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) last week.

He will face a range of tough issues, including post-pandemic economic recovery and threats from North Korea.

He will also hope to help his party regain popularity after its unpopular push to host the Tokyo Olympics.

The move to go ahead with the event came despite massive public opposition due to concerns over a surge in Covid cases.

MrSuga decided to step down as prime minister after a year in office due to plummeting poll ratings caused by the handling of the pandemic.

MrKishida will now lead the LDP into a general election that must be held by November. Local media reports say MrKishida is expected to call for polls by 31 October.

The new cabinet members under MrKishida are due to be announced later today.

He has long targeted the prime ministerial role, and lost out to MrSuga in last year’s poll.

But order to maintain their support, MrKishida may have to toe the line on party reforms and ensure he also caters to its conservative elements.

If he fails to do so, MrKishida risks emulating MrSuga in having a short tenure as leader, heralding a return to the pre-Abe “revolving door” era which saw six prime ministers between 2006 and 2012.

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