16:17 GMT21 September 2020
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    Earlier, the Kyodo news agency reported that Suga informed the Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General about his intention to join the race to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

    Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan Yoshihide Suga has indicated that he will join the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leadership election, Reuters reported, citing a source. 

    Suga said he would consider joining the election after fourteen LDP lawmakers had asked him to do so, the agency added.

    On Sunday, the Kyodo news agency reported that Suga had already informed the Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai, who is making decisions about the party leadership race, of his intention to join the race to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.  

    Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe holds a news conference on Japan's response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at his official residence in Tokyo, Japan, March 28, 2020
    © REUTERS / Issei Kato
    Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe holds a news conference on Japan's response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at his official residence in Tokyo, Japan, March 28, 2020

    Last Friday, Abe announced that he was stepping down due to health issues: he suffers from ulcerative colitis, a disease which had already forced him to leave his post in 2007. However, five years later he assumed office again to become Japan's longest-serving head of government. 

    The LDP plans to hold an election on or around 15 September, according to the Kyodo news agency. Apart from Suga, other candidates include the party's policy chief and former Foreign Minister, Fumio Kishida, and former Defence Minister Shigeru Ishiba.

    Tags:
    election, Shinzo Abe, Japan
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