Abe’s ‘loyal right-hand man’ Yoshihide Suga chosen by ruling party to succeed him as Japan’s PM

A top Japanese government official, Yoshihide Suga, has been selected to replace outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Having led Japan since 2012, Abe is stepping down for health reasons.

According to the Japan Times, the new ruling Liberal Democratic Party leader is expected to become the new PM because the party holds a comfortable majority in the lower house of parliament.

Suga said that the government needs to “inherit and facilitate policies promoted by Prime Minister Abe.”

“I recognize that I carry that mission,” he added.

Suga, 71, has served as chief cabinet secretary since 2012. In this position, he acted as the country’s top government spokesperson, among other roles. He was described by Japanese the media as Abe’s longtime ally and “loyal right-hand man.”

Abe has been Japan’s leader for eight years and is the nation’s longest continuously serving prime minister. He announced his plans to resign due to health problems on August 28.  

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