Japan’s new PM Fumio Kishida will seek new mandate to handle virus, economy


Tokyo: Japan’s newly-elected Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday that he will dissolve the lower house next week to prepare for the October 31 elections as he prepares to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, a weakening economy and security threats from China and North Korea. Want a fresh mandate.

Kishida was formally elected on Monday to replace Yoshihide Suga, who resigned after only a year in office.

Suga’s support emphasized his insistence on tackling the pandemic and holding the Tokyo Olympics as the virus spread.

??Our fight against the coronavirus continues,” Kishida said at his first press conference on Monday night after taking office.

??The COVID-19 measure is urgent and top priority, and I will tackle the problem keeping in mind the worst-case scenario. ??

He said he would review the handling of the past virus and try to set up a crisis management unit.

He also promised to go ahead with a massive recovery package to support those affected by the pandemic.

??To take COVID-19 measures on a large scale, I need to get a mandate, ?? Kishida said he would personally attend the G-20 and COP-26 climate meetings.

A former foreign minister, Kishida, 64, was known as a moderate but more conservative on security and gender equality and other issues, apparently winning over influential conservatives in her Liberal Democratic Party. to do.

His victory in last week’s vote to replace Suga as party leader was seen as a substitute for continuity and stability over change.

According to the lineup announced by the new Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, Kishida left two of Suga’s 20 cabinet members, and 13 would take office for the first time.

Most of the positions went to powerful factions who voted for Kishida in the party elections.

Suga’s government consists of only three of the two women.

Veteran woman legislator Seiko Noda, one of four candidates fighting for party leadership, became the minister in charge of the country’s falling birth rate and local revitalization.

Another woman, Noriko Horiuchi, became vaccination minister, replacing runner-up Taro Kono in the race for party leadership.

Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, the younger brother of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, were retained to ensure the continuation of Japan’s diplomacy and security policies, as the country approaches China under a bilateral security agreement with Washington. wants to work together. Tensions are rising in the region, including Taiwan.

Kishida supports strong Japan-US security ties and partnerships with other like-minded democracies in Asia, Europe and the UK to counter China and nuclear-armed North Korea.

He pledged to strengthen Japan’s missile and naval defense capability.

Kishida acknowledged the importance of continuing talks with China, an important neighbor and trade partner, but said “should we speak?” Against China’s attempt to change the status quo in the East and South China Seas.

Kishida created a new cabinet position aimed at dealing with the economic dimensions of Japan’s national security, appointing Takayuki Kobayashi, 46, who is relatively new to parliament.

Finance Minister Taro Aso was transferred to a top post in the party and was replaced by his 68-year-old relative, Shunichi Suzuki.

Kishida said he was ready to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “unconditionally” to resolve the issue of Japanese nationals abducted in the North decades ago.

He said he would cooperate with President Joe Biden in resolving North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.

Kishida also faces deteriorating relations with South Korea over issues of history following a 2015 agreement with Seoul to resolve a dispute over the issue of women being sexually abused by Japan’s military during World War II. Is.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday sent a letter to Kishida congratulating him and offering to work together to improve relations.

An urgent task at home will be to reverse the declining popularity of his party, which is hurt by Suga’s perceived highness on the pandemic and other issues.

It must also ensure that Japan’s health care system, vaccination campaigns and other virus measures are prepared for a possible resurgence of COVID-19 in the winter, while gradually normalizing social and economic activities.

Voters welcomed new and slightly younger faces in the government.

Karen Inaka, a 28-year-old designer, said she hopes the new government will take young people’s opinions into account and allow young politicians to play important roles.

At least,???Kishida looks more energetic than Suga,??? Business owner Makoto Okubo said.

(AP) SCY SCY 10042010 NNNN

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