Fumio Kishida was elected Japan’s Prime Minister and will be tasked with quickly tackling the pandemic and other domestic and global challenges and leading a national election within weeks. With his party and its coalition partner holding a majority in both houses of Parliament, Kishida won by a comfortable margin against Yukio Edano, head of the largest opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan.

He replaces Yoshihide Suga, who resigned after only one year in office as his support plunged over his Government’s handling of the pandemic and insistence on holding the Tokyo Olympics as the virus spread.

A former Foreign Minister, Kishida used to be known as a dovish moderate but turned hawkish apparently to win over influential conservatives in the Liberal Democratic Party. He is firmly entrenched in the conservative establishment, and his victory in last week’s vote to replace Suga as the party’s leader was a choice for continuity and stability over change.

“Congratulations and best wishes to the new Prime Minister of Japan, H.E. Kishida Fumio. I look forward to working with him to further strengthen the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership and advance peace and prosperity in our region and beyond,” PM Modi said in a tweet.