Yoshihide Suga became Japan’s new prime minister on Wednesday, with the former chief cabinet secretary expected to stick closely to policies championed by Shinzo Abe during his record-breaking tenure.
Suga, 71, won an easy victory in a parliamentary vote, where his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) holds a commanding majority.
He bowed deeply as lawmakers applauded his win, but made no immediate comment. He is not expected to speak until late Wednesday when he gives his first press conference as prime minister.
Suga’s new cabinet was announced shortly after the vote, with several ministers keeping their jobs, including Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Finance Minister Taro Aso.
Abe’s brother Nobuo Kishi, who was adopted by his uncle as a child and carries his surname, is the new defence minister, replacing Taro Kono, who becomes administrative reform minister.
Suga is seen as a continuity candidate and has said his run was inspired by a desire to pursue Abe’s policies, although analysts warned of challenges ahead.