- Title: Japanese Prime Minister Suga to run in LDP leadership race
- Date: 26th August 2021
- Summary: On April 15, 2021, Suga arrived at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, U.S. for a summit meeting with Biden. JOINT BASE ANDREWS, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES (FILE - APRIL 15, 2021) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** AIRPLANE CARRYING SUGA AND DELEGATION TAXIING ON RUNWAY SUGA EMERGING FROM AIRCRAFT, WALKING DOWN STEPS
- Embargoed: 9th September 2021 08:27
- Keywords: Chief Cabinet Secretary Japan Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga leadership politics race vote
- Location: TOKYO, OKINAWA, JAPAN / JOINT BASE ANDREWS, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES / CARBIS BAY, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: TOKYO, OKINAWA, JAPAN / JOINT BASE ANDREWS, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES / CARBIS BAY, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Asia / Pacific,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA008ERY22PZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is set to face one or more challengers in a Sept. 29 ruling party leadership race as he struggles with crumbling approval rates ahead of a general election.
Former foreign minister Fumio Kishida was expected to announce his candidacy for Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) president on Thursday. Suga has said he would seek re-election.
The winner is assured of being prime minister because of the LDP's majority in parliament's lower house.
In a general election that must be called by Nov. 28, the LDP-led coalition is not expected to lose its majority in the powerful lower house, but forecasts suggest that Suga's party could lose the majority that it holds on its own, an outcome that would weaken whoever is leading the LDP.
Suga, 72, took office last September with support of about 70% but his ratings have sunk below 30% as Japan battles its worst wave of COVID-19 infections and many of his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmakers fear for their seats.
LDP Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai, who was key to Suga's victory last year, said on Wednesday he still backs the prime minister. The party's smallest faction, led by former cabinet minister Nobuteru Ishihara, was also lining up behind Suga, Jiji news agency reported.
Other party bosses, including former premier Shinzo Abe and Finance Minister Taro Aso, have not commented publicly.
Unlike last year, grass-roots LDP members will vote along with the party's members of parliament, which could make the outcome harder to predict. And novice MPs, fearful of losing their seats, maybe wary of following their elders' orders.
Suga's dream scenario had been to call the general election in September after hosting the Olympics but that was upended by the COVID-19 surge. The Sankei newspaper said on Thursday that would be held in October or later.
Suga's pandemic response suffered another setback after Moderna Inc said it has withheld 1.63 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in Japan after a report of contamination.
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None