Japan’s ex-foreign minister Kishida announces bid to succeed retiring PM Abe

Fumio Kishida, a Japanese MP who served as foreign minister in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s second and third cabinet, will run to replace his retiring former boss as the new head of the Japanese government.

Last Friday, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister announced his plans to stand down due to health problems. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will elect Abe’s replacement as party leader. Whoever is selected is virtually assured to become the next prime minister of the country since the LDP holds a majority in the Japanese parliament.

Kishida, 63, formally announced his decision to run for the leadership position on Tuesday. Long considered a contender for premiership, he passed on a previous opportunity in 2018 to make way for Abe.

The politician served as foreign minister between 2012 and 2017 under Abe and is currently the chairman of the LDP’s Policy Research Council.

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