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Inside Japanese politics

Three moments that put Japan PM Suga on road to resignation

Poor timing, mistakes with COVID and mayoral race sealed his political fate

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has decided not to run in the LDP's presidential election, citing the need to focus on combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.

TOKYO -- Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will not run for the presidency of the Liberal Democratic Party and will step down as the prime minister of Japan, less than a year after taking office on Sept. 16, 2020. Looking back, there were three crucial moments that sealed Suga's political fate.

The first was his decision to forgo a quick general election. Immediately after taking office, Suga's cabinet had a 74% approval rating, the third-highest ever for a new cabinet. His cabinet still enjoyed nearly 60% approval as of last November. If Suga had called an election by that point, there is a good chance that the LDP would have kept its sole majority in the Diet, Japan's parliament, judging by historical approval ratings and electoral results.

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