On Friday (September 3), Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared that he will not contest for the leadership of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). The news comes as criticism of his management of the COVID-19 outbreak grows. After a one-year tenure tarnished by an unpopular COVID-19 response and fast diminishing public support, Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced his resignation, paving the way for a new premier.
Suga said on Friday that he will not run in the party’s leadership election on September 29, implying that he will be replaced as prime minister as well. Suga is anticipated to remain in office until the party elects a successor.
TBS claimed, without identifying sources, that Kono intended to vie for the leadership position hours after Suga’s declaration. However, Kono held off on announcing his candidacy, telling reporters that he wanted to confer with his party members first.
According to a Reuters report, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s approval ratings have dropped below 30% as the country grapples with its biggest wave of COVID-19 infections in decades, just before of a general election this year.
Suga’s decision not to run in a September election for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) means the party will select a new leader, who would become prime minister.
Suga, who took office when Shinzo Abe quit in September claiming health issues, failed to capitalize on his last big achievement, organizing the Olympics, which were postponed until 2020 owing to the pandemic months.