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Japan election

Who is Fumio Kishida, Japan's next prime minister?

Experts see Hiroshima native maintaining 'status quo' on economic and foreign policy

Fumio Kishida, a former foreign minister, bows after he won the race to lead Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Wednesday. (Photo by Uichiro Kasai)

TOKYO -- In picking Fumio Kishida, Japan's political establishment turned to a safe pair of hands to lead the ruling Liberal Democratic Party into a general election this autumn.

In a party leadership election on Wednesday, Kishida comfortably defeated his main rival Taro Kono, Japan's outspoken vaccine minister who bills himself as reformist. He also topped Sanae Takaichi, a hard-line conservative backed by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Seiko Noda, a center-left lawmaker who is progressive on social policies.

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