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Japan after Abe

Asian economists hope Japan's new leader provides reform model

PM-in-waiting Suga seen balancing US and China ties for geopolitical stability

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, right, gives a bouquet to Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after Suga was elected as new head of the Liberal Democratic Party in Tokyo on Sept. 14.   © Kyodo

Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Monday elected Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga as its party president, after a majority of its lawmakers and regional representatives cast votes for him, putting the veteran politician on track to succeed Shinzo Abe as prime minister.

After Abe's resignation announcement, the Japan Center for Economic Research and Nikkei conducted a survey from Aug. 31 to Sept. 7, collecting 12 responses from economists and analysts in the five biggest member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN -- Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand -- as well as India. The questionnaire didn't specify Suga as the next prime minister, but most respondents were aware of his front-runner status.

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