BREAKING: Yoshihide Suga Elected As Japan's New Prime Minister

BREAKING: Yoshihide Suga Elected As Japan's New Prime Minister

Japan’s parliament on Wednesday elected Yoshihide Suga as new Prime Minister, with the former chief cabinet secretary expected to stick closely to policies championed by Shinzo Abe during his record-breaking tenure.

The 71-year-old Suga, won an easy victory, taking 314 votes of 462 valid ballots cast in the lower house of parliament, where his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) holds a commanding majority.

He bowed deeply as lawmakers applauded following the announcement, but made no immediate comment.

Suga is expected to announce his cabinet later on Wednesday, with local media reporting he will retain a number of ministers from Abe’s last government.

Suga, who on Monday was elected leader of the LDP, is viewed as a continuity candidate and has said his run was inspired by a desire to pursue Abe’s policies.

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Abe, who resigned earlier Wednesday along with his cabinet, is ending his record run in office with a year left in his mandate.

He was forced out by a recurrence of ulcerative colitis, a bowel disease that has long plagued him.

Suga has spent decades in politics, most recently as chief cabinet secretary, where he was known for pushing government policies through a sometimes intractable bureaucracy.

He has also been the face of the government, doggedly defending its policies as spokesman, including in sometimes testy exchanges with journalists.

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