fredag 3. september 2021

Yoshihide Suga announces intention to step down after less than a year as Japan's Prime Minister

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Friday said he will not run in his party's forthcoming leadership election, effectively ceding the premiership and opening the race to other candidates after a turbulent term of less than a year. Suga, who assumed the top role last September after his predecessor, Shinzo Abe, stepped down due to health issues, has seen public support slump as he struggled to contain Japan's growing coronavirus outbreak.

"Working on Covid countermeasures and election activities requires a tremendous amount of energy, so I decided that I cannot work on both and should choose one of them," he told reporters in Tokyo Friday. "My mission as a Prime Minister is to protect the life and livelihood of people, so I'd like to concentrate on this."

He added that he will hold a news conference next week.Suga's decision not to stand in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leadership election, scheduled for September 29, follows a tough 11 months in office marked by rising coronavirus infections and a slow vaccine rollout. The winner of the LDP leadership election is widely expected to become Prime Minister, owing to the party's majority in the lower house. A general election is scheduled to take place later this year.