Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga acknowledges his election as new head of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party in Tokyo on Monday. Photo: AP/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool
politics

LDP elects Suga as leader to succeed Abe

49 Comments

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Monday elected Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga as its new president and ultimately Japan's new leader to replace outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

In a vote at a meeting of LDP lawmakers of both chambers of the Diet, Suga secured a comfortable victory over his two rivals -- Shigeru Ishiba, a former defense minister, and Fumio Kishida, a former foreign minister. A majority of the LDP's factions gave the top government spokesman their backing after Abe said last month he would step down for health reasons.

Suga won 377 votes, Kishida 89, and Ishiba 68.

Suga's election as prime minister at an extraordinary Diet session on Wednesday is almost certain as the governing party controls the House of Representatives, the more powerful lower chamber, and holds a majority in the House of Councillors with its coalition partner Komeito.

The LDP election became a mere formality for endorsing the party factions' decisions to back Suga, 71.

Ballots were cast by 394 LDP lawmakers and 141 delegates of local chapters, with the party's rank-and-file members excluded this time to speed up the process amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Most local chapters held primaries, although it was up to each chapter to decide whether to give all three allotted ballots to a single candidate or to multiple candidates in proportion to primary results.

The election was prompted by Abe's announcement on Aug 28 that he would step down due to a relapse of an intestinal disease called ulcerative colitis, just days after he became the longest-serving prime minister in the country's history in terms of consecutive days in office.

Kishida, 63, who decided not to run in the party's previous leadership election to make way for Abe and asked for his support in the election this time, and Ishiba, 63, who is popular among the public but has less support among his fellow party lawmakers, expressed an interest in running in the LDP presidential election shortly after Abe's announcement.

But Suga, who does not belong to a party faction, quickly emerged as the front-runner while showing little originality in his election pledges, promising to continue Abe's policies including his "Abenomics" package of monetary easing, fiscal stimulus and structural reform.

LDP Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai was among the faction leaders who declared support for Suga early on, and the party's largest faction led by Hiroyuki Hosoda, a former secretary general, with 98 members followed, setting the course for Suga to become the next leader of Japan.

Attention is now focused on the likely lineup of Suga's Cabinet, although how long its members will remain in their positions is unclear.

Suga's term as LDP president is limited to the remainder of Abe's current three-year term through September 2021 and a lower house election must be held before Oct 21 that year.

© KYODO

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

49 Comments
Login to comment

Wow. Shocking news.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

Well that was not a surprise, guess he will soon be hated by the everyday people when he ups the consumption tax, while letting his buds at softwank avoid every tax known

22 ( +26 / -4 )

Gasp.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Politician and a Gentleman.

-24 ( +3 / -27 )

Prediction - watch the corona numbers go down over the next few weeks so LDP can say its safe to hold a general election to " secure a mandate of the people" for Suga over the next couple of months. Quick, while there is even a little bit of a bump up for Jiminto with Abe gone and before Suga makes more of his own stuff ups ala " consumption tax needs to rise ". LDP electioneering 101.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

YOUNGBLOOD!

11 ( +14 / -3 )

PM Suga! Yes!

-27 ( +5 / -32 )

The Liberal Democratic Party. That always gives me a chuckle.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

common dude, smile a bit, you just won an election

6 ( +7 / -1 )

A face that radiates joy, happiness, and good times.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Youthful, dynamic, charismatic and bursting with innovative ideas to reform Japan's moribund institutions; sadly, he's none of those. If Keizo Obuchi was cold pizza this guy's the last bit of chikuwa in the pot: soggy, beige, bland and tubular.

26 ( +31 / -5 )

Go GO GO print the money!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I'm so torn on this. On the one hand this was a very opaque backroom process with very little public participation by which a bunch of insiders appointed an extraordinarily boring candidate to be leader. Which seems wrong.

On the other hand, I can't deny feeling comforted but the fact that unlike leaders in other countries who are anything but boring, this dull leader is very unlikely to declare Covid a hoax, or start Tweeting conspiracy theories about the deep state being out to get him, or any of that kind of stuff.

Sometimes boring is good.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Not a fan of Suga... not because he's incompetent but because he comes from a similar agenda / background as Abe. This means the fundamental and systematical issues in Japan will most likely not be addressed or resolved.

I fear Japan may even go backward under his leadership.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Foregoing conclusion.

A process even less democratic than the CCP! Wow.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

The revolution has started!

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Its gonna be a cold winter for Japan, but he will never let you now. The tight grip on news & reporters will be even worsen. (except for the usual copy&paste wine & dine buddies )

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Although unlikely, I hope the LDP get a toweling at the next election.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Never saw that coming, a political thunderbolt event out of the blue.

Whilst LDP Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai 81, and his horrendous faction lead ruling government continues to be afforded the role of appointing the next in line to dutifully kowtow to a hidden faceless political unelected bureaucracy.

Then these unaccountable elite will continue to incompetently drive J economy, health and social welfare into the dust.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The guy has yet to make a single decision and the virtual axe has been wielded by JT commentators.

Bravo!

I think I lean left but when folks have clearly no inclination to listen to any other opinion, I lean the other way.....

only to find full-blown right wing zealots.

Can't win either way.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

The guy has yet to make a single decision and the virtual axe has been wielded by JT commentators. 

Bravo!

I was thinking something similar.

Give him a week.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The guy has yet to make a single decision....

Actually, his decisions have guided government policy for years. The Furusato Nozei, for example, was Suga's brainchild. A senior bureaucrat who fell out with Suga over the policy was packed off to some backwater post.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

You are probably right. He is not very attractive.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

He looks exactly like the guy you put into a management position when you know the news is bad and need someone to take the fall.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Keeping personal opinions of Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga in check.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga is the chosen replacement.

No more, no less.

So the consequences, well that my future huff puff.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

OracToday  04:03 pm JST

PM Suga! Yes!

I can't imagine getting quite that excited over a septugenarian with a comb-over.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Let us hope for the best from Suga sensei. However we may prepare for the worst as well owing to the pandemic and global difficult situations.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Congratulations to Suga Sensei.  He will be a good representative of the Japanese people.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Oh well, let's see how he fares. Economy and Covid-both domestic and global, and short on diplomatic skills. Not going to be an easy job. Good luck to PM Suga.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Looks like another „Holdout“ this time in politics.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

already talking about raising taxes

0 ( +1 / -1 )

After 3 months of healing his bowels Abe-san will come back stronger than ever!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I hope he would make his new cabinet , refraining from the existing vertical Relationship.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Whatever you say, he was an ambitious baseball player during his school days...lol

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Suga, farmer's son of the sad countenance, now fits Abe like a glove ready to do his bidding except that Covid hovers in the air threatening to thwart Abe's best laid schemes for the LDP. Let's wish Suga well when he gets to meet an enraged lame-duck Trump who will be in too foul a mood to play the gracious host to "low-energy" Yoshi.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

After looking at all the available options, I'd say... "whatever"

2 ( +4 / -2 )

He looks like a Sith from Star Wars LOL!!!

Looks like the rot will continue, please NO stupid snap election for some BS mandate I am SICK of that crap!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Cheerful looking sod, isn't he!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

We have a leader!!!..... I thought we were an automatous collective!!!???

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What a Dinosaur lol

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The old 'boys' club. Nothing to see here. Thanks for asking who the people want. lol

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Already considering raising taxes? This has been proven time and time again to NOT work... when will governments learn?

You cannot tax your way to prosperity.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

One thing is certain and that is we will all be paying more tax in the ...near future.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Alfie Noakes:

Youthful, dynamic, charismatic and bursting with innovative ideas to reform Japan's moribund institutions

That's not going to happen in Japan. Preservation, not innovation, will be upheld as they have been doing for centuries. Innovation, if it ever happens, happens gradually and almost unnoticed. Even when they reach a dead end, they will find an innovative way to revive old ways.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Go GO GO print the money!

Deja vu

I've just been in this economic situation before

Higher on the Wall Streets

And I know it's my time to QE

Calling you and the search of my profit

Standing on my money printer

It's so hard when I try to be me uoooh!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Suganomics will fix Japan in six year.. cross fingers no tsunami or earthquake will push back

this plan.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Congratulations, and best of luck in these difficult times!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Farmboy you said it! And he’s willing to meet with Kim Jong-un directly. Between that, and his opposition to the Asian NATO that was proposed by one of his opponents, makes me very happy as to what is foreign policy is going to be.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If that’s a photo of him rejoicing, Japan is in real trouble. He did state he would need help from Abe with diplomacy. Who’s going to help him with a personality?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites