Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi congratulated Yoshihide Suga on his appointment as Japan’s new Prime Minister after a parliamentary vote on September 16. Taking to Twitter, PM Modi said that he looks forward to taking the strategic partnership with Japan to newer heights with the help of newly-elected Prime Minister.
Earlier, Prime Minister Modi had expressed anguish over the medical condition of Abe which forced him to announced his resignation. PM Modi had said that he was “pained” to learn about Abe’s ill health, adding that the bilateral relations have become deeper and stronger under his leadership.
Japan's parliament elected Yoshihide Suga as country's new Prime Minister on September 16, with the ruling party president securing an easy win. Suga received 314 votes in favour out of 462 valid ballots cast in the lower house of parliament, becoming the successor of Shinzo Abe who resigned last month due to his deteriorating health condition.
According to local media reports, there won’t be a drastic change in the new cabinet under the leadership of Suga as Abe’s successor has pledged to carry on many of the current programmes, including “Abenomics”. Finance Minister Taro Aso, Minister of Foreign Affairs Toshimitsu Motegi and Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto and Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi are expected to retain their portfolio.
Yasutoshi Nishimura could be reappointed as economy minister and Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama is expected to retain his post. Katsunobu Kato, the health minister known for his swift COVID-19 response at the early stage of the pandemic, is set to take over Suga’s post as chief cabinet secretary.
Suga is expected to finish the rest of the current term until elections in September 2021 and any dramatic shift in key policy decisions is highly unlikely. One of the toughest challenges would be the handling of coronavirus pandemic as Abe faced backlash over COVID-19 response during the second wave.