Newly elected Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga stands as he was chosen as the new prime minister at the Lower House of Parliament in Tokyo, Japan on September 16, 2020.

It was just a formality: at 71, Yoshihide Suga was appointed the new Prime Minister of Japan by Parliament. He replaces Shinzo Abe, who resigned for health reasons, of whom he was the loyal lieutenant: until now he was secretary general and spokesperson for the government of his government.

Mr Suga obtained 314 votes on Wednesday out of 462 votes declared valid in the lower house of parliament, where the Liberal Democrat Party (PLD) has a comfortable majority with its coalition ally, the Komeito (“Enlightened Government Party” , in French). A simple majority was required. The results of the vote in the upper house of parliament were not yet known when those of the lower house were announced, shortly before 2 p.m. local time (7 a.m. in Paris). But the PLD and the Komeito also have a majority in the upper house, and in the event of a contrary vote between the two chambers, the vote of the lower house wins the decision.

Turning around the economy hit by the pandemic

The composition of his government is expected to be announced later today. Mr. Suga had already triumphantly won the internal election of the PLD on Monday to become its new leader.

The new prime minister highlighted his origins – son of a farmer – and self-taught politician by promising to serve the interests of his fellow citizens, especially those of rural communities. For years he faithfully served and advised Mr. Abe, coordinating policy among ministries and numerous state agencies. As such, he knows all the cogs of the Japanese bureaucracy, but does not have the international stature of his predecessor.

He promised to pursue a large number of Shinzo Abe’s policies, and in particular to stay the course of the economic strategy known as “Abenomics”. Its main priorities will be the fight against the coronavirus and the recovery of the economy hit by the pandemic.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Yoshihide Suga, future prime minister of Japan, shadow of Shinzo Abe

Le Monde with AFP, AP and Reuters

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