Japan's new Prime Minister: Fumio Kishida has become the new Prime Minister of Japan after he was elected as the leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. He succeeded outgoing party leader Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who had earlier announced his decision to step down from the position after serving for just a year.
Japan's Parliament on October 4, 2021, voted Fumio Kushida as the next Prime Minister who is also expected to announce the new cabinet including both holdovers and fresh faces.
Fumio Kishida is Japan's former foreign minister and has been elected as Japan's next Prime Minister in the Parliament on October 4. He beat Taro Kono, the popular vaccinations minister, in a runoff vote to be elected as the ruling party's leader.
#UPDATES Japan's parliament votes Fumio Kishida the country's next prime minister, with the new leader expected to announce a cabinet including both holdovers and fresh faces pic.twitter.com/d3tDMNmulu
Japan's Political Crisis
Japan's incumbent Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga had announced earlier this month that he will not run for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's leadership election in September 2021.
Suga made his intentions to step down as Japan's Prime Minister very clear, after serving for only a year since he took office in September 2020. Suga had succeeded Japan's longest-serving prime minister Shinzo Abe, who had resigned unexpectedly in August 2020 citing ill health.
Suga was expected to seek re-election in the ruling LDP's leadership election, however, he indicated that he wants to focus on coronavirus response instead. He explained that it requires immense energy to simultaneously tackle both COVID-19 responses and prepare for the leadership race. Hence, he decided to focus only on one task and that was responding to the COVID-19 situation in the country.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's handling of the coronavirus pandemic received a lot of backlash from the public, especially after his insistence on holding the Tokyo Olympics this past summer.
About Fumio Kishida
•Fumio Kishida is a soft-spoken centrist leader, who is generally known to keep a low-key presence.
•The 64-year-old had competed in the LDP's 2020 leadership elections as well but he had lost out to Yoshihide Suga.
•Kishida has pledged to announce a new pandemic stimulus and vowed to tackle income inequality and mark a departure from the neo-liberal economics that have dominated Japanese politics for the past two decades.
•He has previously served as LDP's policy chief and had served as Japan's foreign minister between 2012-17.
•He has called abolishing nuclear weapons his life's work. In 2016, he had coordinated the historic visit of the then US president Barack Obama to Hiroshima.
Japan to lift COVID-19 state of emergency
Japan's government announced on September 28, 2021 that it will lift the COVID state of emergency this week so that the nation's economy can be reactivated as the infections rate slowed down.
The state of emergency will end in Japan on September 30the and all the COVID-19-related restrictions will be eased gradually to allow people to resume their daily lives despite the presence of the infection.
Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga informed that his government will create more temporary Covid-19 treatment facilities and continue vaccinations to prepare for any future waves.
The state of emergency was imposed in Japan in April 2021 ahead of the Tokyo Olympics 2020, when there was a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases in the country. The emergency was then extended and expanded repeatedly. It is now finally being lifted after almost six months.