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Japan's Suga says to run for leadership race, wants to avoid vacuum

Yoshihide Suga, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary and ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmaker, speaks during a news conference to announce his candidacy for the party's leadership election, in Tokyo, Japan September 2, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga officially declared on Wednesday he would run for leadership of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), a race he is widely tipped to win to become the next prime minister.

Speaking to a briefing, Suga said he wanted to run to avoid a political vacuum at a time when the world’s third-largest economy grapples with the impact of the pandemic.

Reporting by Leika Kihara and Tetsuji Kajimoto; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Andrew Heavens