“No surprise”: Suga indicates his intention to seek another term at the head of the PLD

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Saturday said he would seek another term as chairman of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in the party’s next leadership race, saying his plan was “no surprise”.

Regarding the declining approval rating of his cabinet, the Prime Minister, whose term expires at the end of September, said on a TV show: “I think there are several reasons, but I humbly accept it” .

A Jiji Press poll showed on Friday that Cabinet approval ratings fell 3.8 percentage points between June and 29.3%, the lowest level since its launch in September last year.

“It is necessary for us to implement our promises to people and face their judgment on the results,” Suga said.

Suga also said he was unlikely to reshuffle his cabinet before the next House of Representatives elections, which are due to be held by the fall. “Under the current Cabinet, (the government) will make every effort” to deploy the vaccine.

He did not respond clearly when asked if he could dissolve the House of Representatives before the term of lawmakers expired.

Meanwhile, the prime minister has expressed his eagerness to complete COVID-19 vaccinations for anyone hoping to be vaccinated in the country as soon as possible, around October and November.

Frustrated by the lengthy vaccine and drug approval processes, he said: “I absolutely want to make revisions to the law (in view of future pandemics).”

With the Tokyo Olympics set to take place without spectators, Suga said it was always important for the games to create emotional moments for people in Japan and around the world.

Suga said he plans to watch the games on TV, not the venues, and prioritize his official duties.

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