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Overnight, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced that he would not be seeking re-election as head of the governing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on 29 September. Once a new LDP head is in place, Suga stated that he would step aside as prime minister to allow the new party leader to take over in the run up to Japan's legislative election, which is due to be held by 28 November at the latest.
Suga stated that him not running in the LDP leadership contest will allow him to devote his efforts to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. However, it also avoids the potential for his defeat should he have run for the LDP leadership and been challenged. Suga took over as prime minister Abe in September 2020 and has his tenure dominated by the fight against COVID-19 while also struggling to stamp his mark on government following his predecessor's longest-ever tenure as a Japanese head of government.
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