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Suga starts work as Japan’s new prime minister

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Yoshihide Suga began work as Japan’s new prime minister on Thursday, a day after assuming the top post and launching his Cabinet.

“I want to meet people’s expectations by creating a Cabinet that works for people and achieves results,” Suga told reporters at the prime minister’s office.

New Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (far R) speaks to reporters at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo on Sept. 17, 2020. (Kyodo)

He said he will appoint senior vice ministers and parliamentary vice ministers on Friday.

During his first press conference as premier on Wednesday, Suga pledged to revive the economy and bring the coronavirus under control. He said he would further push forward policies laid out by his predecessor, Shinzo Abe, who stepped down due to ill health.

Suga retained eight ministers, including Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, reflecting his pledge of continuity with Abe.

Among the five new faces joining the Cabinet was Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, Abe’s younger brother. The remaining seven ministers were either shifted from other posts or returned to positions they had held in the past.

The appointments were spread across the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s seven major factions, including the five that carried Suga to an overwhelming victory over two rivals in the party’s presidential election on Monday.

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