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Yoshihide Suga takes office as Japan's new Prime Minister on Wednesday Updated: 2020-09-17 05:57:13 KST

Securing a majority in parliament on Wednesday with his Liberal Democratic Party, Yoshihide Suga officially became Japan's 99th Prime Minister.

"According to Article 18, Chapter 2 of the rules for the House of Representatives, Yoshihide Suga has been appointed as Prime Minister by the Diet members."

Suga picked as his chief cabinet secretary the current health minister Katsunobu Kato.
Among those staying in their current posts are Finance Minister Taro Aso and Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.
Shinzo Abe's younger brother Nobuo Kishi, who was adopted by their uncle, will serve as defense minister.
Eight cabinet officials from the Abe administration are staying on, and three other members from the previous cabinet are taking different posts.
Suga's reshuffle mainly affects those from factions that supported him during the LDP leadership election but also includes a few of those who did not.

"Suga was elected as the Prime Minister with the support from several party factions based on his pledge to continue the Abe administration. He can't back out of that."

Experts say that because Suga has pledged to carry on with the policies of his predecessor, it may take some time to start talks with South Korea over a series of thorny issues.
But, they say, if Suga calls a snap election soon and solidifies his position, he will be given more leeway to carry out his own policies.
Seoul's top office said Wednesday that President Moon Jae-in sent a letter to Suga to congratulate him and to say that South Korea is willing to sit down with Japan for talks at any time.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.
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