Suga was elected LDP leader on Monday with about 70% of the vote, but needed the support of the country’s national legislature, the Diet, before he could officially become prime minister.
He received 314 votes out of 465 in the lower house and 142 out of 240 in the upper chamber.
Shortly after his confirmation, the new prime minister announced the alignment of his cabinet line, which includes a large number of former Abe appointments, promoting an impression of stability and continuity between the two leaders.
Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Finance Minister Aso Taro will be in their roles, while Abe’s Health Minister Motonobu Kato will be given the important post of Chief Cabinet Secretary – Chief of Staff and Press Secretary.
Former Prime Minister Abe’s brother Nobuo will take on the role of defense minister under Kishi Suga. In all, there are only two women in the cabinet.
Suga is expected to be sworn in by Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Wednesday afternoon.
Sugani’s appointment as Abe’s replacement is not surprising. During his second term, Abe’s nearly eight-year tenure, Suga was the right-hand man of the former Japanese leader and held the position of chief cabinet secretary in his government.
Suga is known as a successful political operator who can do things, and worked with the former leader to implement “Abenomics” – a series of economic policies designed to boost Japan’s flag-waving economy.
In fact, Suga is so closely associated with the former prime minister that the vice dean of Hokkaido University and professor of international politics, Kajuto Suzuki, described him as an “abe substitute”.
Japan is also facing long-term economic and social problems, such as massive government debt and old age. Despite public calls for gender equality in the workplace, critics say the government has not made enough progress during his tenure.
Suga will also have to face a referendum on his new government sooner rather than later. The prime minister must hold another general election by October 2021, although Defense Minister Taro Kono said on Wednesday that snap elections could be called early next month.
CNN’s Amiko Jojoka, Joshua Berlinagar and Will Ripley contributed to this article.
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