Lawmakers from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party of Japan elected Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga as president on Monday, paving his way to becoming the country's new Prime Minister, according to local reports.
What Happened: Suga, aged 71, won the party election by landslide, securing 377 votes against rivals former foreign minister Fumio Kishida and former defense minister Shigeru Ishiba, who each secured 89 and 68 votes respectively, Japan’s Mainichi newspaper reported.
Ballots were cast by a total of 394 LDP lawmakers and 141 delegates of the party’s local chapters, as per Mainichi.
Suga will reportedly be elected as the Prime Minister at the extraordinary Diet session called on Wednesday as the ruling party holds sway over both the chambers of the Japanese parliament.
Why It Matters: Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigned late August due to ill-health after serving the longest uninterrupted term in history.
Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso said Sunday that a snap general election could be held “soon." Aso’s faction is the largest in the LDP and has extended support to the incoming prime minister, the Japan Times reported.
The son of a strawberry farmer, Suga, has reportedly vowed to carry on with Abe’s policies, including Abenomics, which revolves around boosting Japan’s money supply and increasing government spending.
Price Action: The Japanese Yen traded 0.09% lower at 106.05 against the dollar at press time, while the Nikkei was up 0.65% at 23,559.30 after the news broke.
Photo courtesy: Government of Japan via Wikimedia