Update: Suga Set To Take Office As Japan’s Next Prime Minister

TOKYO, Sept 16 (NNN-NHK) – The Cabinet of Japan’s outgoing Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, today resigned en masse, ahead of the parliament formally appointing Yoshihide Suga, the newly elected ruling Liberal Democratic Party leader, as the new prime minister.

Abe, Japan’s longest serving prime minister, in terms of consecutive days in office, said, he had given his all during his time as the national leader and it had been an honour to serve.

“I have spent every day putting my all into economic recovery and diplomacy to protect Japan’s interests,” Abe told reporters.

“It is my honour to have been able to work on a range of issues, along with the people during this time. I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart,” the outgoing leader said.

Suga is now set to take office as Japan’s prime minister today, after he is selected at an extraordinary Diet session.

The more powerful lower house of parliament and the upper house will convene this afternoon to each name their choice for Abe’s successor.

Along with their junior coalition Komeito ally, the LDP dominates in both chambers of Japan’s bicameral parliament and hence Suga will be certain to be chosen as the next prime minister.

Suga’s premiership will last through the remainder of Abe’s term as LDP leader until Sept, 2021.

In the run-up to his inauguration, Suga said he will continue to promote Abe’s policies, including his economic brand of aggressive monetary easing, fiscal stimulus and structural reforms, to breathe life back into the spluttering and recession-hit world’s third-largest economy.

Suga will also continue the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, utilising the 230-trillion-yen (2.2-trillion-U.S. dollar) package, allocated for tackling the outbreak.

As the nation’s leader, Suga, 71, who will be the oldest prime minister to take office, since Kiichi Miyazawa in 1991, will also be charged with tackling the nation’s dire fiscal health, the worst in the industrialised world, as well as, comprehensively addressing the nation’s demographic crisis, comprised of a rapidly ageing and shrinking population, that has led to social welfare costs ballooning, and the labour force being hollowed out.

Later in the day, Suga will announce members of his new cabinet.

Thereafter, he will be formally inaugurated at a ceremony at the Imperial Palace.– NNN-NHK