Photo: Credit Reuters
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Yoshihide Suga, a long-time ally of outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, won a ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leadership election on Monday, paving the way for him to become prime minister in a parliamentary vote this week.
Suga, 71, who served in the powerful post of chief cabinet secretary during Abe’s nearly eight-year tenure, has said he will pursue his predecessor’s “Abenomics” recipe of hyper-easy monetary policy, government spending and reform and follow a diplomatic line centred on the U.S.-Japan security alliance.
Suga is virtually certain to be elected prime minister in a parliamentary vote on Wednesday because of the LDP’s majority in the lower house. He will serve out Abe’s term as party leader through September 2021.
Suga thanked Abe and vowed to push ahead with reforms. Abe, Japan’s longest-serving premier, said last month that he would resign because of ill health, ending nearly eight years in office.