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Japan election

Kishida picks Foreign Minister Motegi to replace Sec-Gen Amari

Awkward switch comes after heavyweight lost in his single-seat district

Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi speaks to reporters after meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Nov. 1.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida intends to replace his ruling party's second-most-powerful official, Secretary-General Akira Amari, after the latter lost his single-seat district in Sunday's general election and offered his resignation.

It is rare for a party secretary-general, who is in charge of election campaigning, to quit the day after a vote -- especially one in which the party won an outright majority. The switch is an awkward distraction for Kishida, who is preparing to roll out a new stimulus plan. But the prime minister plans to accept Amari's resignation and appoint Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi as his successor in the role of Liberal Democratic Party secretary-general.

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