Yoshihide Suga appointed Japanese Prime Minister, succeeding Shinzo Abe

Yoshihide Suga has been formally elected Japan’s new Prime Minister in a parliamentary vote.

Mr Suga will replace Shinzo Abe, who has resigned because of poor health.

Mr Suga had been chosen as leader of the ruling party on Monday (local time), virtually assuring his succession.

Previously the chief cabinet secretary and long seen as Mr Abe’s right-hand man, he will launch his own Cabinet later today.

Mr Suga has stressed his background as a farmer’s son and a self-made politician while promising to serve the interests of ordinary people and rural communities.

He has said he will pursue Mr Abe’s unfinished policies, and his top priorities will be fighting coronavirus and turning around Japan’s economy, which has battered by the pandemic.

More to come.