Suga’s decision comes less than a year since he assumed the top role, after his predecessor, Shinzo Abe, stepped down due to health issues.
By choosing not to stand in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leadership election on 29 September, Suga is opening the race to other candidates. Suga’s term as party leader is set to expire on 30 September, 2021.
“Today at the board meeting, Prime Minister Suga said he is not running the party leader election since he would like to concentrate on Covid-19 measures,” LDP Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai told reporters Friday.
Suga made the announcement at an extraordinary board meeting at the party headquarters after 11:30 a.m. Japan local time on Friday, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported.
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