Japan PM Fumio Kishida is expected to win re-election in the Parliament
Japan PM Fumio Kishida is expected to win re-election in the Parliament

Japan: After passing the first major test of his leadership in recent elections, Japan's Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, is set to be reelected on Wednesday. Kishida was elected by Parliament just over a month ago and called a snap election, securing enough seats in the 465-member lower house – the more powerful of Japan's two-chamber Diet – to maintain a free hand in pushing legislation through. He sees the victory on October 31 as a mandate from voters for his newly formed government to address the pandemic-ravaged economy, virus control, and other issues.

Kishida will be reelected in the first session of the Parliament since the election, and will then form his second Cabinet in a month by reappointing most of his ministers. He'll form his second Cabinet later Wednesday, keeping all but one of the ministers he appointed when he took office on Oct. 4, and then outline his economic policies and other key policies at a press conference.

A month ago, the Liberal Democrats chose Kishida as a safe, conservative candidate. They expected heavy election losses if Yoshihide Suga, who is unpopular, remained in power. Suga resigned after only a year in office, as criticism of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and his insistence on holding the Tokyo Olympics despite fears of a virus outbreak drove down his popularity.

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