Yoshihide Suga is expected to take over as Japan’s new Prime Minister tomorrow, with Seiko Hashimoto expected to continue as Olympics Minister.
Suga should be confirmed tomorrow by a Japanese Parliament vote. He was selected as leader of Japan’s majority party, the Liberal Democratic Party, in an election yesterday. Suga will replace the departing Shinzo Abe, who announced his resignation last month, citing health concerns.
Abe was a champion of Japan’s bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. Those Olympics were postponed one year to the summer of 2021 amid the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Reports at the time of Abe’s resignation suggested that the change in national leadership should not affect the country’s Olympic host status less than a year out from the Games.
Now, Inside the Games reports that Suga will keep many members of Abe’s cabinet in their current positions. Suga was previously the chief cabinet secretary under Abe.
Olympics Minister Hashimoto is expected to keep her post in Suga’s cabinet. She’s previously been a Japanese Olympian in both speed skating and cycling, and was appointed Olympics Minister last September.
Hashimoto has been a staunch advocate for the Olympics to stay on track next summer.
“I think we have to hold the Games at any cost,” she said last week, citing the athletes preparing for the Games. “I want to concentrate all our efforts on measures against the coronavirus.”