WORLD New Japan PM stresses further ties with US, stable ties with China, Russia


New Japan PM stresses further ties with US, stable ties with China, Russia


22:20, September 17, 2020

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Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga leads his cabinet ministers as they prepare for a photo session at Suga's official residence in Tokyo, Japan, September 16, 2020. (Photo: CGTN)

Yoshihide Suga became Japan's first new prime minister in nearly eight years on Wednesday, stressing that he will implement policies to beef up Tokyo's alliance with the United States, while hoping to establish stable relationships with China and Russia.

"As the situation surrounding Japan is becoming more difficult, I will expand policies under the alliance between Japan and the U.S.," the new PM said at a news conference.

"I also want to build a stable relationship with neighboring countries including China and Russia," he added.

Chinese President Xi Jinping Wednesday sent a congratulatory message to Suga, saying that long-term stable, friendly and cooperative Sino-Japanese relations are in line with the fundamental interests of the two peoples and in the interest of peace and stability in Asia and the world.

Developing a China-Japan relationship that features long-term stability and friendly cooperation conforms to the fundamental interests of the two peoples and the expectations of the international community, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday. 

Meanwhile, on the domestic front, Suga, at 71 as the oldest prime minister to take office since Kiichi Miyazawa in 1991, has said his first priority is to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic wreckage it has and continues to create. 
The new leader is expected to utilize the 230 trillion yen (2.2 trillion U.S. dollars) package allocated for tackling the COVID-19 outbreak and has vowed to push forward with his predecessor's economic policies, including the "Abenomics", an economic brand of aggressive monetary easing, fiscal stimulus and structural reforms. 

Suga's Cabinet picks, as a testament to the future direction of his administration's policy, is full of familiar faces, with fifteen of Suga's picks for his 20-member Cabinet having held ministerial portfolios in the previous administration.

Suga's term as ruling Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) president will be limited to the remainder of Abe's current three-year term through September 2021. However, speculation has been swirling that he may call a general election as early as next month to improve his chances of winning a full three-year term as LDP leader and capitalize on the party's popularity, which tends to improve after a leadership change.

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