Japan’s former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida has won the governing party leadership election and is set to become the next prime minister. Kishida replaces outgoing party leader Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who is stepping down after serving only one year since taking office last September.
As new leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, Kishida is certain to be elected the next prime minister on Monday in parliament, where his party and coalition partner control the house.
Kishida beat Taro Kono, the vaccinations minister, in a runoff after moving ahead of two female candidates Sanae Takaichi and Seiko Noda in the first round.
Kono is favored by the public but lacks solid backing of the party’s conservative heavyweights, which may set him up for a short-term premiership, while Kishida is seen as a choice who could lead government longer.
As the LDP-led coalition constitutes a majority in both chambers of the parliament in Japan, the new party president is almost certain to be elected prime minister in the extraordinary Diet session scheduled to be held on October 4, succeeding the incumbent Yoshihide Suga, Xinhua news agency reported.