Taro Kono is leading an opinion survey conducted by Nikkei and TV Tokyo on who should succeed Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
Taro Kono, Japan’s vaccines minister, is polling the people on who should succeed Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga as leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
In a poll conducted by the Nikkei newspaper and TV Tokyo, Kono received 27 percent of the vote when asked who would be the “appropriate person” to lead the party and become the next prime minister.
The poll was conducted from September 9 to 11 and the results were announced on Saturday.
Shigeru Ishiba, the former LDP Secretary-General, came in second with 17 percent, and Fumio Kishida, the former policy chief, came in third with 14 percent. Sanae Takaichi, the former Interior Minister, came in fifth place with 7% of the vote.
Kono, who is also the minister of administrative reform, launched his candidacy on Friday, becoming the third person after Kishida and Takaichi to do so.
According to sources close to Ishiba, he may not run for the party’s leadership and will instead endorse another candidate, according to the Jiji news service on Saturday.
Suga unexpectedly announced his resignation on September 3, ending a one-year tenure characterized by low public popularity and displeasure with his coronavirus response.
This prepared the scenario for a leadership vote among LDP members and legislators on September 29. Because the LDP holds a majority in Parliament’s lower house, the winner is almost certain to become prime minister.
According to ruling party MPs quoted by Kyodo, Japan will likely hold a general election in the first half of November following the LDP leadership poll.
The Nikkei/TV Tokyo poll comes on the heels of previous polls showing significant public support for Kono, 58, as Suga’s successor.
Source: AL JAZEERA