Here’s what you need to know about Japan’s next prime minister

A traveling reader reads a newspaper article featuring Fumio Kishida, a former foreign minister, being elected as the new president in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) presidential election, in Tokyo’s Ginza province on September 29, 2021.

Philip Fong | AFP through Getty Pictures

Fumio Kishida will take over the presidency of Japan after winning a presidential race at Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party on Wednesday.

Former foreign minister ousted his closest rival, tsar celebrity, Taro Kono, in a runoff vote after none of the contestants were able to win a majority in the first round.

Kishida’s victory lifts him to replace the outgoing party leader and President Yoshihide Suga, who is stepping down one year after taking office. Considering the LDP and its coalition to control the house, Kishida is sure to once again follow the Japanese leader.

Before announcing the move, Suga’s consent had already waned amid widespread criticism of his handling of the epidemic. Critics have criticized his move to continue hosting the Summer Olympics in Tokyo even though the area was under emergency at the time.

Kishida was one of Suga’s opponents in the LDP presidential race in 2020, when former President Shinzo Abe resigned unexpectedly due to ill health.

Winning LDP technocrats

Kishida’s election as LDP leader “signifies victory” for the party’s players’ party, said Jesper Koll, director of Monex Group.

“Kishida represents stability, not shipwreck, and more importantly, doing what political leaders tell him to do,” Koll said in a letter on Wednesday. “In terms of economic and social development, Kishida will follow a path of radical but progressive change.”

His promises in the form of a campaign, which included a ten-year nonprofit tax deduction and pension and health-care assessment, came as a surprise given that “he was always complaining and uninterested in the public forum,” Koll said.

Ahead of Kishida’s victory in the election, Goldman Sachs’ Naohiko Baba told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Wednesday that the former foreign minister is expected to focus more on budget allocation to address financial inequality in the country.

Good story

One of Kishida’s first tasks was to lead the LDP in the Japanese elections. It is set to take place in the next few months.

Ahead of these elections, the incoming leader is expected to find a “good media” that gives him strength, according to Tobias Harris, an Asian official at the Center for American Progress.

While Kishida may not be the “most interesting character” according to the LDP leadership, “he is interesting enough,” Harris told CNBC and China. “She’s a pretty good… reputation, a good record since she was foreign minister.”

Another advantage is that Kashida has not been part of Suga’s government and “it is difficult to fight him because of Suga’s rule to catch the disease, so it is helping him,” he said.

Capture Covid

Japan has faced many waves of Covid infection since 2020, and its driving safety has skyrocketed in the past few months following a delayed start.

As of September 28, 59% of people in Japan have been vaccinated against Covid-19 – higher than the United States ’55 .09%, according to our Country in Data.

Harris said the Covid virus has been deep in Japan. The government announced this week that it would eliminate the state of emergency coronavirus in all states by China.

As a result, “you may not have the public interest to go to the polls against LDP, and that’s exactly what Suga did,” Harris said.

Many leaders also get a “good bump in the polls” after taking office, the analyst said: “I don’t think there is any reason to think that Kishida will not get that.”


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