former foreign minister Japan Fumio Kishida, 64, was elected head of the country’s ruling party on Wednesday (29) and is expected to become the country’s prime minister next week.
Kishida is considered a moderate politician. He won the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD) presidential race by defeating a more famous opponent: 58-year-old Taro Kono, who coordinated the country’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
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The current Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, decided not to apply PLD stands for Vote, an acronym that has dominated Japanese political life since 1955.
After voting in parliament, where the LDP has a majority, Kishida is expected to be appointed prime minister on 4 October. Legislative elections will be held in November (the PLD is considered the favourite).
“We must show the public that the LDP is alive again and needs their support for these elections to the two houses of parliament”, Kishida declared after his victory. “We are going to the polls together,” he said.
Kishida was the Foreign Minister of Japan from 2012 to 2017. He is the heir to a family of politicians. In 2020, he ran against Suga and lost. He was the first to declare himself a candidate for this year’s elections.
Highlighting his listening skills and inviting the Japanese to share their claims and views with him, Kishida sought to capitalize on the dissatisfaction of public opinion with the management of the health crisis, which led to the popularity of the Suga government. reduced.
macho political tradition
The first round of the PLD’s internal elections was close. Kishida was ahead of Kono by just one vote. Sane Takachi, an ultra-conservative candidate backed by former prime minister Shinzo Abe, also scored well.
Two of the four contenders were women, which is unusual in a country that has never had a prime minister and has few prominent women in political life.
On the other hand, Kishida won the second round, a vote in which PLD MPs gained more weight than members of the Aadhar party, receiving 257 votes, compared to 170 for Kono, the general public’s favourite, in the elections. According to.
“The prospect of Kono’s victory scared people inside the LDP,” said Brad Gloserman, an expert on Japanese politics and a professor at Tama University. “Some were concerned by some of his stance on China and the fact that he would be willing to do anything to ensure independence from the United States,” he said.
According to Glosserman, Kishida will “now have to prove she’s not the same” who lost last year.