Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga Photograph:( Reuters )
Effectively ending his tenure after just one year, Suga said he will resign at an emergency meeting of senior members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has announced that he will not run for re-election as party leader in a vote this month.
Effectively ending his tenure after just one year, Suga said he will resign at an emergency meeting of senior members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
Earlier, domestic media had reported that Suga was to call a snap election but Suga had said he had no plans to do so.
Suga was struggling to shore up support and attract high-profile backers ahead of a leadership contest and a general election.
The 72-year-old took office last September from his powerful predecessor Shinzo Abe with support of about 70 per cent.
But his ratings have sunk to record lows below 30 per cent as Japan is battling its worst wave of COVID-19 infections and many of the LDP lawmakers are afraid to lose their seats.
Former foreign minister, Fumio Kishida is challenging Suga for the party leader post.
The party leader contest is slated for September 29, and the winner is all but assured of being premier because of the LDP's majority in the lower house.
However, it is difficult to predict the outcome of the party leadership race as unlike last year, grassroots LDP members will vote along with its members of parliament.
Fearful members of the Japanese parliament are scared of losing their seats, maybe wary of following their elders' orders.
The government is considering holding the general election on October 17.