Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga on Monday won the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) leadership vote and will secure the post of the Prime Minister. According to the final count, Suga secured 377 votes, followed far behind by former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida with 89 votes and former Defence Minister Shigeru Ishiba with 68 votes.
On Wednesday, the Japanese Parliament will confirm Suga as the head of government, replacing long-serving Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who unexpectedly announced in late August his decision to resign due to health problems. Suga pledged to continue the policy of his predecessor.
“A political vacuum is inadmissible amid the ongoing national crisis in light of the coronavirus infection spreading. I plan to inherit and develop the effort made by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe,” Suga said, as aired by the NHK broadcaster.
On officially announcing his plan to step down, citing health issues, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, “In June this year, I was told that there were signs of recurrence of my chronic condition called ulcerative colitis, and I did my best at work. while taking medicine.”
“But starting the middle of last month, my physical condition changed, and I felt very exhausted. Recurrence of the disease was confirmed at the beginning of this month,” he added.
Abe said that he would step down because his worsened condition and treatment could threaten the decision-making process. “In politics, getting results is the most important thing. Facing illness and treatment and being in poor physical form, I could not let myself make mistakes in important political decisions and fail to achieve results,” he said further.
“I have decided that I should not continue to hold the position of the prime minister, as I can no longer firmly carry out the mandate given to me by the people. I’ve decided to resign as Prime Minister,” Sputnik reported further quoting Abe.