Saudi Crown Prince congratulates new Japanese PM on election victory

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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman congratulated newly-elected Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on his victory.

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The Crown Prince extended his best wishes for the success, progress, and prosperity for the country and the people of Japan, in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Kishida succeeded Yoshihide Suga to become the 100th Prime Minister of the island nation on Monday.

The former foreign minister clinched a victory in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leadership election on Wednesday September 29.

Kishida secured the premiership after previous leader Yoshihide Suga announced in early September he would be stepping down, following tumbling ratings as the country’s COVID-19 cases rose.

The 64-year-old, a former banker from Hiroshima, called for a parliamentary election on October 31 and vowed to bolster the country’s response to the pandemic.

He received a phone call on Tuesday from US President Joe Biden, who reaffirmed the commitment of the US to defending the disputed East China Sea islets known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan in the face of incursions from China.

Kishida has chosen a cabinet lineup dominated by allies of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, Abe’s brother, remained in his post, as did Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.

Kishida is expected to deepen engagement between the US, Australia, India and Japan, which Beijing sees as an effort to contain its rise.

With Reuters

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