Kishida set to become Japan's new PM, form Cabinet

Monday is an important day in Japanese politics.
Lawmakers will elect a new prime minister -- charged with leading the country out of the pandemic. Kishida Fumio is almost certain to win.

He took the helm of the main ruling Liberal Democratic Party last week. The LDP-led coalition controls both houses of the Diet.

Suga Yoshihide did not run for a second term as party leader. He said he wanted to concentrate on fighting the coronavirus.

Coronavirus cases surged while Tokyo hosted the Olympics and his Cabinet approval ratings were declining.

Kishida is vowing more support for the medical system and economy. He is also looking beyond borders.
The LDP president says he will raise Japan's global presence, while protecting its interests.

Kishida served as foreign minister for more than four years. He oversaw talks with Seoul to resolve sensitive historical issues.

Kishida also has experience with the White House. He arranged for Barack Obama to become the first sitting president to visit Hiroshima.

NHK has learned who will take on key posts in his Cabinet.

Motegi Toshimitsu is to remain as foreign minister.

Kishi Nobuo is also to remain as defense minister.

Suzuki Shunichi will be named finance minister.

Hagiuda Koichi will be named economy, trade and industry minister.

Matsuno Hirokazu will be named chief Cabinet secretary, who serves as the top government spokesperson.

The Emperor will ceremonially endorse the new prime minister and Cabinet at the Imperial Palace later on Monday afternoon.