(TOKYO) — Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will not seek re-election as president of the country’s Liberal Democratic Party, effectively ending his term as prime minister after just one year.
Suga told reporters Friday that he would instead work on policy measures, specifically highlighting efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. Workin on both the pandemic and a re-election bid, he said, would require so much energy that he felt he must choose one or the other.
“The lives and livelihoods of the people is my first priority,” he explained.
Suga’s announcement came as a surprise despite poor approval ratings for his administration.
He took over in September 2020 after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigned due to health issues. His handling of the coronavirus pandemic has been publicly criticized, including the decision to go ahead with the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, against public sentiment.
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