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It is believed that the minister has Suga’s support to lead Japan

Yoshihide Suga announced on Friday that he will not run for re-election as the leader of the LDP at the end of September. Japanese media have now reported that he wants Taro Kono, the minister in charge of Japan’s vaccination programme, to succeed him.

Kono, who has not yet announced if he is interested in the job, is popular with young people. The 58-year-old has, among other things, built much of his support on the Twitter platform, where he has 2.3 million followers – a rarity in Japan where older men dominate politics without a presence on social media.

Among the favorites to lead the party is former foreign minister Fumio Kishida. He has said he is ready to take on the role of party leader.

Whoever wins the Liberal Party leadership election is likely to also become prime minister after elections later this fall. Although the party appears to lose its majority in the House of Representatives, it can, with the help of its coalition partners, retain control.

Suga took office in late September last year when his representative, Shinzo Abe, resigned due to health reasons. Abe is Japan’s longest serving prime minister – eight years. Prior to taking office, the country had had six prime ministers in several years.

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