Japan PM Yoshihide Suga announces he will not run for re-election, know why

Japan’s PM Yoshihide Suga announced that he will not run for the leadership election to be held by the ruling LDP in September 2021. Less than a year ago, PM Suga had taken over charge after Shinzo Abe resigned in September 2020.

Created On: Sep 3, 2021 12:03 IST
Japan PM Yoshihide Suga, Source: AP
Japan PM Yoshihide Suga, Source: AP

Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on September 3, 2021, announced that he will not run for the leadership election to be held by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in September 2021. This means the party will choose a new leader that will become the Prime Minister of Japan. Less than a year ago, PM Suga had taken over charge after Shinzo Abe resigned in September 2020 citing ill health. Abe has been the longest-serving prime minister in Japan with 8-year tenure. Before Abe, Japan had seen 6 prime ministers.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is set to hold its leadership election on September 29, 2021, for which PM Suga was highly expected to seek re-election. However, PM Suga indicating a step down from LDP’s leadership during a media briefing said, “I want to focus on coronavirus response.”

PM Suga further explained that it requires immense energy to tackle both coronavirus response and prepare for the leadership race simultaneously. Therefore, he decided to concentrate on only one task at the moment which is coronavirus response.

Amid the worst wave of COVID-19 infections in Japan ahead of the general election of 2021, the support ratings of PM Suga dropped below 30 per cent. The Tokyo stock market responded positively to the news of Suga not running for re-election.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) officials informed that PM Suga would continue to finish his term as the President of LDP until his successor is chosen in party-wide elected scheduled to be held on September 29, 2021. The LDP has ruled Japan almost continuously since 1955.

A general election is also scheduled to be held in the country on October 17, 2021.

Who is Yoshihide Suga?

Yoshihide Suga is a Japanese politician who has been the Prime Minister of Japan since September 2020 after Shinzo Abe resigned. Suga was Chief Cabinet Secretary from 2012 to 2020 and Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications from 2006 to 2007.

Suga entered politics when he was first elected to the Yokohoma Municipal Assembly in 1987. In 1996, Suga was elected to the House of Representatives as a member of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

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