Fumio Kishida elected as new Japanese PM

Fumio Kishida was officially elected as Japan’s 100th prime minister on Monday (October 4) after winning a majority of votes in both Houses of Parliament.

Kishida, a 64 year-old former foreign minister with an image of being a low-key consensus builder, was chosen last week to lead the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Kishida’s newly unveiled cabinet includes stalwarts of the ruling party and allies of former conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

But the majority of the 20 posts have been filled with those with no prior cabinet experience, in line with Kishida’s pledge to give people new chances.

A surprise snap general election is on the cards for October 31 though, according to public broadcaster NHK which reported Kishida will announce dissolving parliament on October 14 at his first news conference in power.

Kishida replaces outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga who resigned after only a year over strong criticism of his handling of the global health crisis, which has battered the Liberal Democratic Party’s support ratings.

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