New Japanese PM Suga Names Cabinet, Many Carried Over From Predecessor

Japan  US Trade Talks

Japan US Trade Talks

The new prime minister also announced the makeup of his new Cabinet.

Mr Suga has said he will prioritise keeping coronavirus infections under control and boosting Japan's economy, and has promised to continue Mr Abe's key policy programmes.

Previously the chief cabinet secretary and long seen as Mr Abe's right-hand man, he will launch his own Cabinet later today.

After the ceremony, Suga will hold a news conference and convene the first meeting of the new cabinet.

Yoshihide Suga - now the chief cabinet secretary, who is widely considered to be a close confidant to the PM - was selected on Monday to replace Abe as leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and is all but ensured to secure confirmation on Wednesday, given the party's parliamentary majority.

Suga, a self-made politician and the son of a strawberry grower in the northern prefecture of Akita, has stressed his background in promising to serve the interests of ordinary people and rural communities. He thanked the public for its support and said his health condition is improving.

UAE and Bahrain sign recognition deals with Israel
UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan said the agreements marked "a change in the heart of the Middle East". The men then descended a staircase and sat at tables on the lawn to sign statements in English, Arabic and Hebrew.

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.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Suga on his appointment and said he was looking forward to jointly take the "special strategic and global partnership" between the two countries to new heights. Abe's tenure ended abruptly because of illness, and Suga helped him return as prime minister in 2012.

"The ambition of Mr. Suga to speed up and reinvigorate the process (of reform) is absolutely clear, but the next layer of personnel will be interesting", he said.

Suga will unveil his cabinet formally later Wednesday, but leaks to Japanese media suggest it will offer few surprises.

Katsunobu Kato, outgoing health minister and a close Suga ally, takes on the challenging post of chief cabinet secretary.

The new prime minister will inherit a range of challenges, including relations with China, which continues its assertive actions in the contested East China Sea, and what to do with the Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed to next summer due to the coronavirus. And he will have to establish a good relationship with whomever wins the US presidential race.

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