Japan’s popular vaccine minister Kono set to enter race for next leader By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Japan’s Defence Minister Taro Kono attends a information convention at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s official residence in Tokyo, Japan September 11, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Picture

By Antoni Slodkowski

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan’s in style coronavirus vaccination minister, Taro Kono, is about to announce his candidacy on Friday to steer the ruling occasion and, by extension, grow to be the subsequent prime minister.

Kono turns into the third candidate to throw his hat within the ring for the management of the Liberal Democratic Get together (LDP), which opened up final week when Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga stated he would step down.

Kono seems to have an edge over former international minister Fumio Kishida and former inside affairs minister Sanae Takaichi within the race.

Almost a 3rd of respondents in a ballot by main home media final week stated the Georgetown College-educated Kono, 58, was probably the most appropriate to succeed Suga.

Kono stated he had knowledgeable Suga of his intention to run, media stated, a number of hours earlier than a information convention at which he’s set to make a proper announcement.

The winner of the Sept. 29 vote of grass-roots occasion members and its lawmakers is nearly assured the premiership as a result of the LDP has a majority in parliament’s decrease home.

The brand new chief will then steer the occasion in a decrease home election that should be held by Nov. 28. Lawmakers are relying on the brand new chief to spice up the occasion’s assist after Suga’s rankings hit document lows.

Kishida within reason in style and might rely on the assist of his faction of the occasion, whereas Takaichi, hoping to grow to be Japan’s first girl prime minister, has assist on the occasion’s conservative flank, together with that of influential former prime minister Shinzo Abe.

One remaining query is whether or not former defence minister Shigeru Ishiba, who can be well-liked amongst occasion members, will run on his personal or again Kono.

Whereas Suga’s assist was undermined by his haphazard dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic, Kono, who has been in control of a rocky vaccination rollout, has remained in style, notably amongst youthful voters.

That’s partly because of his means to achieve out to the general public by way of Twitter (NYSE:), the place he has 2.3 million followers – a rarity in closely scripted Japanese politics dominated by older males much less adept with social media.

Some within the LDP really feel Kono is just too younger, given the common age of prime ministers taking workplace since 2000 was about 62. Their considerations embody his lone-wolf type in a system that runs on consensus, and an outspoken streak that may often see him problem the occasion line.

Regardless of that popularity, Kono toed the road on Abe’s key insurance policies when he served as each defence and international ministers in his cupboards.

He has differentiated his conservative stances from these of his father, former chief cupboard secretary Yohei Kono, who authored a landmark 1993 apology to “consolation ladies”, a euphemism for girls pressured to work in Japan’s wartime navy brothels.

Kono is because of announce his candidacy at 4 p.m. in Tokyo (7:00 GMT), in response to his workplace.

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