Japanese Parl. names Suga as new PM on Wed.

TEHRAN, Sep. 16 (MNA) – Japan's Parliament elected Yoshihide Suga as prime minister Wednesday to replace the long-serving Shinzo Abe.

Suga had been chosen as leader of the ruling party on Monday, virtually assuring he would succeed Abe, who resigned earlier in the day because of ill health.

The new PM, who was chief Cabinet secretary in Abe’s government, is to launch his own Cabinet later Wednesday, NBC reported.

He has stressed his background as a farmer's son and a self-made politician in promising to serve the interests of ordinary people and rural communities.

Suga has said he will pursue Abe’s unfinished policies, and that his top priorities will be fighting the coronavirus and turning around an economy battered by the pandemic.

He gained the support of party heavyweights and their followers early in the campaign on expectations he would continue Abe’s line.

Suga has praised Abe’s diplomacy and economic policies when asked about what he would like to accomplish as prime minister.

Suga, who does not belong to any wing within the party and opposes factionalism, says he is a reformer who will break down vested interests and rules that hamper reforms. He says he will set up a new government agency to speed up Japan’s lagging digital transformation.

In a reshuffle of the ruling party key posts, however, Suga evenly allocated top posts to key factions, a balancing act seen as a return of favor for their support in the leadership race.

Suga said he will appoint “reform-minded, hard-working people” to the new Cabinet. About half of the members in the Abe Cabinet are expected to be retained or shifted to different ministerial posts.

Compared to his political prowess at home, Suga has hardly traveled overseas and his diplomatic skills are unknown, though he is largely expected to pursue Abe’s priorities.

MNA/PR

News Code 163584

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