Japan’s Parliament named Fumio Kishida as the country’s new prime minister this Monday (4). The new prime minister is from the same party as Yoshihide Suga, who leaves office to his fellow Liberal Democratic Party to take power.
The Liberal Democratic Party coalition holds a large majority in parliament, so change was expected after Suga had been in power for about a year.
Kishida was Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense during the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who ruled Japan from 2012 to 2020.
The new prime minister assumes the responsibility of leading the third largest economy in the world. The expectation is that it will not significantly change the current government’s policies. According to experts, it will face numerous challenges, from trying to redirect the economy in the post-pandemic phase, to dealing with relations with China and North Korea.
During his campaign and already as prime minister, Kishida said that one of his priorities will be to strengthen the alliance with the United States to face the growing influence of China.
However, analysts believe his government will likely try to explore a path that leads to the formation of a stable policy with China in the context of competition between Beijing and Washington, given the strong trade relationship with the Asian giant.