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Japan's Suga: given pandemic, political vacuum had to be avoided

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga presents Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with flowers after Suga was elected as new head of the ruling party at the Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) leadership election in Tokyo, Japan September 14, 2020. Eugene Hoshiko/Pool via REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) - Yoshihide Suga, the new president of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), said he had thought deeply about running for the position and decided that given the coronavirus pandemic, a political vacuum had to be avoided.

Suga, who long served as chief cabinet secretary under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also told his first news conference after being elected as LDP leader that he wanted to push Japan forward by breaking barriers and promoting deregulation.

Suga is virtually assured of becoming prime minister at a special session of parliament later this week because of the LDP’s majority.

Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by David Dolan