Kishida, the soft-spoken sensation maker, is set to become Japan’s next prime minister after a party vote by Reuters.


© Reuters File Photo: Candidates for the presidency of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party are presenting papers with their signatures and words before a debate session held by the Japan National Press Club on September 18, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. The competitors are (from L)


Written by Anthony Sladkovsky, Xu-Min Park and Kyoshi Takenaka

TOKYO (Reuters) – Former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday won a race to lead the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), a victory that virtually confirmed that he would be Japan’s next prime minister in a few days.

In an acceptable speech, Kishida promised to lead a party transformed into a general election in a few weeks and to continue fighting the Kovid-1 pandemic epidemic that has hurt Japan’s economy.

However, Kishida enjoys only moderate public support and has a clear image and her victory could cause problems for the LDP in the November 28 elections.

“The LDP leadership election is over. Let us all see the lower house and upper house elections become one.”

“Our national crisis continues. We must work hard for a coronavirus response with determination, and we must compile a trillion-yen stimulus package by the end of the year,” he said.

In the second round of voting, Kishida defeated Taro, a former defense and foreign minister, who is seen as an outspoken man. Two female competitors, Sanai Takaichi, 60, and Seiko Noda, 61, were eliminated after the first round.

Kishida, who succeeded unpopular Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who did not seek re-election as party leader after just one year in office, is almost certain to become prime minister in a parliamentary session in October due to the LDP’s majority in the lower house.

He is expected to form a new cabinet and reshuffle the LDP executive in early October.

Local media quoted LDP executives as saying the lower chamber would be abolished by mid-October, with elections on November 7 or November 1.

“The exclusive dominance of TV and newspaper coverage before the election may not be bad for the LDP, but its bad results will quickly ruin the mood for celebration,” said Koichi Nakano, a professor of political science at Sophia University. “

“Opponents must be relieved that they don’t have to fight their favorite (Cono) on television.”

The victory of establishment

Kishidar’s victory cannot bring about a major change in policy as Japan seeks to tackle a strong China and revive its epidemic-hit economy, highlighting the need to focus on reducing income inequality for soft-spoken MPs.

He expressed widespread sensitivity about the need to strengthen Japan’s defense and strengthen security ties with other partners, including the QUAD Grouping of Japan, the United States, Australia and India, while maintaining important economic ties with China and holding regular summits. .

In particular, Kishida seeks to strengthen Japan’s coast guard and supports the passage of a resolution condemning China’s treatment of Uyghur minority members. He wants to appoint an assistant to the prime minister to monitor their human rights situation.

“Taiwan is the biggest question for me,” said Jeffrey Hornung, a senior political scientist at RAND Corporation.

Hornung said the outgoing Suga administration was publicly active in negotiating in Taiwan. “It will be interesting to see if the new leader adopts this approach, such as supporting Taiwan’s inclusion in the CTTP.”

Kishida said fiscal consolidation would be a key pillar of his policy and had in the past expressed skepticism about the Bank of Japan’s over-relaxation policy, saying in 2018 that stimulus could not last forever.

But as the economy suffers from the Kovid-1 pandemic epidemic, Kishida has recently said the opposite, saying the BOJ must maintain its massive stimulus. He proposed a trillion-trillion-yen spending package, adding that Japan would probably not raise the sales tax rate to 10% “for almost a decade”.

He emphasizes the need to distribute more wealth to families, as opposed to the focus of Abe’s “Abenomics” policy on maximizing corporate profits in the hopes of wage-earners.

“A win for the establishment. Kishida refers to stability, not rocking the boat and most importantly, doing what elite technocrats tell her to do,” said Jasper Call, expert director of the Monex Group.

(1 = 0.0090 yen)

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