Japan’s PM Suga to travel to US before stepping down

Tokyo, Sep 14 (EFE).- Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will travel to the United States to attend the summit of the Quad countries on Sep.24, shortly before stepping down from office.

The summit, hosted by US President Joe Biden, will feature leaders from Australia, India, and Japan, an alliance of countries known as the “Quad,” conceived in 2007 to counter China’s military expansionism.

The Japanese government started making preparations for Suga’s visit after receiving an invitation from Washington, and after taking into account the importance of cooperation between the four countries and its alliance with the US, according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato on Tuesday.

Kato, addressing a press conference, said the summit presented a good opportunity to confirm the commitment between the four countries with a view to achieving a free and open Indo-Pacific.

In addition to the geo-strategic situation in the Asia-Pacific region, the meeting will address other “common issues” such as efforts against Covid-19 and collaboration regarding vaccines, according to the Japanese spokesperson.

Suga, however, does not plan to attend in person the high-level meetings of the UN General Assembly starting Sep.21 in New York, but send a video message, said Kato.

The Japanese prime minister has announced his decision to not run for re-election as leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in the primaries on Sep.29.

This would mean that Suga will no longer be able to continue as Japan’s prime minister.

The winner of the internal elections in the LDP will succeed Suga as the prime minister subject the ratification in the Japanese parliament, where the ruling party enjoys a comfortable majority.

Following the internal elections of the LDP, the ruling party must decide on a date to dissolve the lower house and to convene a general election, expected to be held by the end of November. EFE


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