Japan's Suga signals chance of snap election: Asahi

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Published 3 weeks ago - Duration: 01:17s

Japan's Suga signals chance of snap election: Asahi

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga signalled he could call a snap election if he became the country's next prime minister, the Asahi newspaper reported on Tuesday, as the ruling party formally kicked off its leadership race.

Gloria Tso reports.


Japan's Suga signals chance of snap election: Asahi

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, a frontrunner to succeed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, could call a snap election to solidify his political grip if he becomes the country's next premier.

That's according to the Asahi newspaper, which first reported the news on Tuesday as the ruling Liberal Democratic Party formally kicked off its leadership race.

The winner is virtually a shoo-in to become premier because of the LDP's parliamentary majority.

Suga kicked off his campaign with a speech on Tuesday: "Someone who participated in compiling anti-coronavirus measures and economic measures has to run for the election and solve this national crisis.

After deep consideration, I have made up my mind." Suga faces former defence minister Shigeru Ishiba and ex-foreign minister Fumio Kishida in the LDP race, but he has already locked in support from most of the party's factions.

He is widely expected to carry on his boss' 'Abenomics' policies as Japan grapples with the twin challenges of the health crisis and an economic slump.

Data released on Tuesday showed that Japan's economy has sunk even deeper into its worst postwar contraction in the second quarter as the health crisis jolted businesses more than initially thought.

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