Yoshihide Suga to Step Down

Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced on Friday, September 3, that he did not have any intention to be reelected as his reigning party’s leader, which concludes his term as prime minister. 

Mr. Suga took over for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who resigned due to health reasons. 

BBC reported that Mr. Suga’s performance in handling Japan’s COVID-19 cases have dropped tremendously, as the country has been battling the worst coronavirus trend, which prompted the Prime Minister to announce his resignation. 

Japan hosted the Olympics Games this year despite the pandemic but did not earn him approval ratings despite pulling the event off. The Guardian reported that experts said that people took the health protocols lightly during the 16-day event. 

Mr. Suga’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) secretary-general said that the Prime Minister did not seek reelection because he wanted to prioritize anti-coronavirus measures, and added, “It’s truly regrettable. He did his best but after careful consideration, he made this decision.”

AFP, through Yahoo News, reported that the possible candidates that could take over for Suga are: Former Defense Minister Taro Kono, who is in charge of Japan’s vaccination efforts; LDP Policy Chief Hakubun Shimomura; divisive right-winger Sanae Takaichi, former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba; and former foreign minister Fumio Kishida, the only one who announced his planned candidacy and promised to “spend big” once appointed. 

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