Japan’s Ruling LDP to Elect New Leader Wed.

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 28 (Jiji Press)--Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party is slated to elect its new leader on Wednesday, with incumbent LDP President and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga set to step down after staying in power for some one year.

Amid falling public support for his cabinet, including over the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Suga earlier this month announced his intention not to seek re-election as LDP leader.

Suga’s resignation triggered the leadership race to become competition among four candidates--regulatory reform minister Taro Kono, 58, former LDP policy chief Fumio Kishida, 64, former internal affairs minister Sanae Takaichi, 60, and LDP Executive Acting Secretary-General Seiko Noda, 61.

Voting by rank-and-file party members was closed on Tuesday, and that by LDP lawmakers is scheduled to start at a hotel in Tokyo at 1 p.m. (4 a.m. GMT) Wednesday. The final result is expected around 3:40 p.m., if a runoff is held.

Kono is viewed as the favorite of rank-and-file party members, while Kishida is believed to be enjoying the largest support from lawmakers of the party.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press