Japan PM contender Kono wants renewable energy, 5G to be focus of stimulus package

Japan's Vaccine Minister Taro Kono, who is running to replace Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, attends a group interview in Tokyo, Japan September 16, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's vaccine minister Taro Kono, a contender to replace Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, said on Thursday any new economic stimulus measures should prioritise spending on renewable energy and expansion of 5G networks nationwide.

In a group interview, Kono also said it was hard to change monetary policy abruptly now given the strain the coronavirus pandemic is inflicting on the economy.

Kono is running to replace Suga, who is stepping down as leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. The winner is virtually assured of being prime minister because of the party's majority in the lower house of parliament.

(Reporting by Yoshifumi Takemoto; Writing by Leika Kihara; Editing by William Mallard)

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