Kishida's Election as LDP Head Seen Welcomed in U.S.


Washington, Sept. 29 (Jiji Press)--Fumio Kishida's election as leader of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party is believed to be welcomed by the United States with a sense of relief, for the expected continuation of foreign policies espoused by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

Kishida, a 64-year-old former LDP policy chief, beat regulatory reform minister Taro Kono, 58, for the party presidency in a runoff vote on Wednesday and is expected to become Japan's next prime minister next week.

Washington believes that maintaining a stable government in Japan is important as the United States faces off against an increasingly hegemonic China.

A U.S. government official said that it would be a nightmare scenario for the Japanese prime minister to change frequently, with such concerns on the rise after Suga announced his intention to step down just a year after taking office.

"We don't know if...supporters of Kono will easily support Kishida as prime minister," said James Schoff, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, despite Kishida having the backing of major party factions.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press