Japan to determine new PM on Oct 4

The Japanese government on Tuesday announced its decision to call an extraordinary Parliament session on October 4 to determine a new Prime Minister, ahead of a general election likely to be held in November.

The leadership election of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) scheduled for September 29 is expected to effectively decide the next premier succeeding the outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who is to resign at the end of this month, as the LDP controls the powerful lower house of parliament, reports Xinhua news agency.

Four candidates, former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, former Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi, Vaccination Minister Taro Kono and executive acting secretary-general of the LDP Seiko Noda have announced their bids for the LDP race.

The new Prime Minister is expected to launch a new Cabinet on the same day and decide on deputy ministers and other personnel later.

All four candidates have said they would deliver a policy speech and hold a question-and-answer session with opposition parties if elected.

In this case, the two most likely timetables for the general election are to begin campaigning on October 26 for the poll on November 7, or campaigning on November 2 for the voting on November 14.

Four candidates are projected to continue to exchange opinions on industry groups and local organisations.

From Thursday, they are planned to answer questions from the public in online policy debate sessions lasting for four days.

The next House of Representatives election is expected to take place in the months after October 21 when the term of members of the current lower house expires.