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Poll shows 27% favor Kono as Japan's next ruling party leader

Ishiba, Kishida next most popular in runup to election to decide Suga's replacement

Declared and potential contenders to lead the ruling LDP include, from left, Fumio Kishida, Taro Kono, Shigeru Ishiba and Sanae Takaichi. (Source photos by Wataru Ito, Yumi Kotani and Uichiro Kasai)

TOKYO -- Japan’s Administrative Reform Minister Taro Kono is the favorite to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga as the next president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, according to an opinion poll conducted by Nikkei and TV Tokyo on Sept. 9-11.

The LDP presidential election, scheduled for Sept. 29, will effectively pick the next prime minister. Suga on Sept. 3 said he will not seek reelection.

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