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Japan after Abe

Suga wins LDP election, in step to becoming Japan's prime minister

71-year-old expected to continue with Abe's economic policies

Yoshihide Suga was elected president of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Monday. (Photo by Hirofumi Yamamoto)

TOKYO -- Yoshihide Suga was elected president of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Monday, making him all but certain to become prime minister of the world's third-largest economy later this week.

As widely expected, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's chief cabinet secretary defeated former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba and former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. Suga took 377 of 534 votes, with Kishida way back in second on 89. Ishiba came last with 68 votes.

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