Yasuo Fukuda is set for a decisive victory in the race to become Japan’s prime minister following the abrupt resignation of Shinzo Abe last week according to opinion polls. Trailing behind in the surveys, his only rival – hawkish former foreign minister Taro Aso. A fan of “manga” comic books who stresses that Japan needs a strong leader, he has called on the Japanese to urge their lawmakers to vote for him.
But Fukuda, the son of a former prime minister, is an obvious choice for Japan’s Liberal Democrats who have ruled the country virtually uninterrupted for half a century. The LDP will pick a new president on Sunday hoping to revive its fortunes after a year marked by scandals, an election rout and a leadership crisis. The winner will formally become prime minister following a parliamentary vote on Tuesday.