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Japan former foreign minister Kishida announces candidacy to succeed PM Abe

Fumio Kishida, policy chief of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and former Foreign Minister of Japan, raises his fist with his fellow lawmakers as he announced to participate in the LDP leadership election to choose successor of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in Tokyo, Japan September 1, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) - Former Japanese foreign minister Fumio Kishida officially announced on Tuesday that he would run for a ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) election to choose Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s successor.

Abe said on Friday he was resigning because of poor health, his long-running battle with ulcerative colitis ending his tenure as Japan’s longest-serving prime minister.

The president of the LDP is virtually assured of being prime minister because of the party’s majority in parliament’s lower house.

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Kim Coghill