|Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks to media after he announced to pull out of a party leadership race at his official residence in Tokyo, Japan, September 3, 2021. (Kyodo/via REUTERS)
On Friday, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced he will not seek re-election as leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) next month, which will effectively end his tenure as Prime Minister after one year.
The LDP is expected to hold a vote to elect a new leader on September 29, one day before Prime Minister Suga's term as LDP Chairman ends. The election campaign will begin on September 17. The winner of the race for LDP Chairman will almost certainly become Japan’s new Prime Minister, as the coalition between the LDP and the National Komeito Party (NKP) holds a majority in the Japanese House of Representatives.
So far, only one person has officially announced his intention to run: former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. Minister of Administrative Reform Taro Kono and former Internal Affairs Minister Sanae Takaichi have both expressed an interest in entering the race. Former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba, LDP policy chief Hakubun Shimomura, and former Communications Minister Seiko Noda are also expected to join the race.