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Japan's Parliament elects former diplomat Kishida as new PM

Posted at 1:20 AM, Oct 04, 2021

Fumio Kishida has been elected Japan’s prime minister in a parliamentary vote and will be tasked with quickly tackling the pandemic and other challenges and leading a national election within weeks.

Kishida won by a comfortable margin since his party and its coalition partner hold a majority in both houses.

He and his new Cabinet will be sworn in at a palace ceremony later in the day.

Predecessor Yoshihide Suga resigned after only one year in office as his support plunged over his government’s handling of the pandemic and insistence on holding the Tokyo Olympics as the virus spread.

President Joe Biden released this statement Monday, congratulating Kishida:

"I send my congratulations to Kishida Fumio on his election by the Diet to be Prime Minister of Japan. The U.S.-Japan Alliance is the cornerstone of peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and the world, and I look forward to working closely with Prime Minister Kishida to strengthen our cooperation in the months and years ahead. The historic partnership between our two democracies and our two peoples will continue to be a critical asset as we work together to take on the challenges of our time. I also want to commend former Prime Minister Suga for a successful tenure and thank him for his partnership to advance the U.S.-Japan Alliance."