Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has officially declared he will run for the leadership of the ruling party – making him the top contender to take over from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Suga is a top government spokesman, who has worked alongside Abe for years.
He said he supports the current Prime Minister’s vision to revive the economy and stay afloat during the global health crisis.
"I will take responsibility to carry on Abenomics and further move forward with it. I would also like to maintain the same kind of relationship the Prime Minister had with Bank of Japan."
Shinzo Abe announced his sudden resignation last week, due to ill health.
The main competitors to takeover include former foreign minister Fumio Kishida and former defence minister Shigeru Ishiba.
But Suga’s already received widespread political support including from many in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. Financial markets also favor Suga, as long as he continues with Abe's strategies aimed at reviving the economy.
The LDP will hold a vote on September 14 - whoever wins will likely become Japan’s Prime Minister as the party controls the lower house of parliament.