"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.