Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party elected on Wednesday Fumio Kishida, a former Foreign Affairs Minister, as its new leader, a success for the party’s establishment that effectively certifies the soft-spoken consensus builder would become the country’s next Prime Minister within days.
The LDP controls both houses of the National Diet of Japan, and both houses are directly elected under a parallel voting system. The step-down decision by Yoshihide Suga, who is currently serving as the Japan’s PM and LDP’s President since 2020, led to Wednesday’s outcomes. Mr. Suga selected to resign as PM after only a year in office amid rapidly descending poll ratings resulted in dealing with the pandemic.
As per reports, #FumioKishida will be the next #PrimeMinister of #Japan. Former #ForeignMinister Fumio Kishida won leadership vote on September 29. He will replace #YoshideSuga as the PM. pic.twitter.com/kznFgigu4v
— Mojo Story (@themojostory) September 29, 2021
Kishida’s leading mission as PM of Japan would be to lead the Liberal Democratic Party to success in the next general elections.
Unfortunately, the LDP’s popularity dropped after hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics in spite of public opposition. Fumio Kishida beat out Tara Kono, the COVID-19 Minister of Japan, who was extensively considered as the prominent candidate.
Moreover, Mr. Kishida has long targeted the PM role, losing out to Suga in 2020’s polling. But the new PM experiences numerous challenges, including post-COVID-19 pandemic prosperousness and confronting menaces from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Establishing A ‘Health Crisis Management Agency’
Mr. Kishida earned the most votes in the leading voting round, but they’re deficient for a majority. That forced a run-off with the next best person Mr. Kono, 58. And the other two runners in the race were a former Internal Affairs and Communications Minister, Sanae Takaichi, and the executive Acting Secretary-General of the LDP, Seiko Noda.
No one of the four most popular candidates earned a majority in the first round. However, Kishida easily gained success in the second ballot, 250/170.
Surprisingly, this was the first ‘LDP or Jimintō’ Presidential race with more than one women candidate.
Furthermore, Mr. Kishida would be officially voted in as PM in Japan’s parliament session to be called on 4th October. He would then have to lead the Liberal Party in the House of Representatives’ election that must be held in this fall.
Mr. Kishida, the former LDP policy chief, said that they now have to express to the public that “the Liberal Democratic Party has reborn.” He asked to work together to win the House of Councillors (upper house) and House of Representatives (lower house) election, which must be held in 2022 Summer.
He also insisted on establishing a ‘health crisis management agency’ to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, and supported the intention of passing a resolution criticizing Beijing’s treatment of the Uyghur Muslims.
Fumio Kishida comes from a political family. Both his grandfather and father were members of the Japan Diet’s Lower House. He headed Japan’s Foreign Ministry between 2021 and 2017, becoming the longest-serving Foreign Minister. Kishida also organized former US President Obama’s trip to Hiroshima in 2016, the first tour to the bombed city by a sitting U.S. leader.