Udayavni Special

Who are the potential PM candidates to succeed Shinzo Abe in Japan?

Team Udayavani, Aug 29, 2020, 12:25 PM IST

Shinzo Abe’s resignation as Japan’s Prime Minister will trigger a vote in his Liberal Democratic Party to replace him as its leader.

It is said that Abe’s cabinet would continue to run the government until a new premier is elected The winner of the party election would then hold the post until the end of Abe’s LDP term in September 2021.

There are several potential candidates whose names regularly appear in the media. The most prominent of these candidates are LDP Policy Chief Fumio Kishida, former party secretary general Shigeru Ishiba, Defense Minister Taro Kono, Finance Minister, Tara Aso and Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.

Fumio Kishida

Fumio Kishida currently chairman of the LDP’s Policy Research Council and has served as foreign minister under Abe from 2012 to 2017

Kishida served as Abe’s minister for foreign affairs.  But his belated announcement in support of Abe’s bid for a third term raised questions about his political savvy.

Ishiba Shigeru


61-year-old Ishiba Shigeru is the leader of his own faction. He has headed the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries and served as minister for regional revitalization

He defeated Abe in the first round of a party presidential election in 2012, thanks to strong grassroots support, but lost in the second round when only MPs could vote.

Taro Kono


Taro Kono,56, current Defence Minister has toed the line on key Abe policies. He is a fluent English speaker and graduate of Georgetown University.

He has previously served as foreign minister and minister for administrative reform.

Tara Aso

Tara Aso currently serving as  finance minister has been a core member of Abe’s administration.  He is Japan’s long-serving finance minister and deputy prime minister.

He served an unsuccessful year in the post in 2008-2009, at the end of which the Democratic Party scored a landslide election victory over the LDP.

Toshimitsu Motegi

He is the current foreign minister and previously has served as economy minister, facing off with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in tough negotiations.

Motegi graduated from University of Tokyo and Harvard and was first elected to the lower house in 1993 from the then-opposition Japan New Party and joined the LDP in 1995.




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