Japan PM Suga to Exit amid Plunging Support

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 3 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced Friday an intention to step down, in the face of plunging support among members of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the public.

Suga decided not to run in the LDP leadership election Sept. 29, apparently believing that it would be difficult for him to be re-elected president of the party as he is steadily losing support within the party amid very low public approval ratings for his cabinet due to growing frustration at his government's novel coronavirus measures.

Former LDP policy chief Fumio Kishida, 64, has declared his bid to run in the LDP presidential election. Other possible candidates include regulatory reform minister Taro Kono, 58, who is also in charge of COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

The LDP is due to fight under its new leader the next election for the House of Representatives, the all-important lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, which must be held by autumn.

Thanks to the LDP's current comfortable majority in the Lower House, the new LDP president is likely to be elected the country's new prime minister at an extraordinary Diet session expected to be convened in early October. Suga is expected to formally step down upon the election of the new prime minister.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press Suga Yoshihide