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Suga Sets Off Succession Race


PM Suga has confirmed that he will not seek re-election as LDP leader to focus on Covid-19 matters. The Premier did not take questions from reporters.

  • The Nikkei reported that Taro Kono is now considering throwing his hat in the ring to become LDP leader. Kono is the government's current Covid-19 vaccine czar and held Defence and Foreign Affairs portfolios under Shinzo Abe.
  • The Nikkei piece also mentioned Shigeru Ishiba as a potential candidate. Ishiba is a former Defence Minister who ran against Suga in last year's leadership election.
  • Former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida remains the only formally declared contender and is running on a platform of boosting spending on Covid-19 countermeasures and initiating a generational change in the LDP. Kishida reaffirmed his intention after Suga dropped out.
  • Former Internal Affairs Minister Sanae Takaichi has also expressed his interest in running for LDP President.
  • Kono was the public's most favoured candidate for LDP President in the opinion poll conducted by the Nikkei last week, but Ishiba trailed him only by a fraction of a percentage point. Kishida came third, ahead of current PM Suga.
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3806 |

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