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KYODO POLL SHOWS ISHIBA SEEN AS FITTEST SUCCESSOR TO ABE

Former defense chief Shigeru Ishiba is the most popular choice to be Japan's next prime minister, gaining 34.3 percent of support and far outpacing other potential candidates, according to a Kyodo News survey released Sunday. 

Ishiba, who has been a rare critic of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration, was followed by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga with 14.3 percent, Defense Minister Taro Kono with 13.6 percent, Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi with 10.1 percent and LDP policy chief Fumio Kishida with 7.5 percent. 


The nationwide telephone poll, conducted in the wake of Abe's announcement of his impending resignation on Friday for health reasons, found that 48 percent plan to vote for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in a next lower house election under the proportional representation system, Mainichi Japan reported late on August 30, 2020. 


Among opposition parties, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan was the most favored at 11.6 percent. The two-day survey from Saturday, which collected 1,050 valid responses, also found 58.6 percent think Abe's resignation in the middle of his term was appropriate, followed by 25.3 percent who said it came too late and 12.7 percent who felt it was too soon. "Leadership" was the most sought quality from the next prime minister at 25.7 percent, followed by "ability to give clear explanations to the public" at 25.4 percent, and "honesty and modesty" at 21.3 percent.


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