A special session of the Japanese parliament will convene today to officially appoint Fumio Kishida as Prime Minister of Japan.
In late September, Fumio Kishida won a runoff vote for the leadership of the center-right Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Kishida replaced Yoshihide Suga as prime minister days later. Subsequently, Kishida called for general elections, which secured a majority for the LDP despite the loss of 23 electoral seats in the House of Representatives, the lower house of Japan’s parliament.
In today’s special session Kishida is expected to form a new cabinet. The main priority of the Kishida administration in the short- to medium-term will be strengthening national security measures amidst provocative Chinese military actions in the Pacific. While Beijing remains Tokyo’s largest trading partner, expect Kishida to adopt a tougher stance on Chinese aggression, as long-standing political tensions between Tokyo and Beijing have intensified recently following Chinese joint naval exercises with Russian forces near Honshu.
Expect Tokyo to increase its defense spending during Kishida’s tenure, likely setting a record for post-WWII Japan. In this framework, Tokyo will also seek to further cooperation with Western countries such as Germany to engage in joint military exercises and possibly sign arms agreements.
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Can is a Publisher and Analyst with Foreign Brief and currently pursuing his PhD in the Department of History at Bighampton University. His research there primarily focuses on the 19th-century Balkan independence movements.