TOKYO – Fumio Kishida, who was retained as policy chief of the Liberal Democratic Party, has expressed his desire to succeed Shinzo Abe as prime minister and LDP president when his current term as the party leader ends in 2021.
Kishida, 62, who heads the fourth-largest and liberal-leaning faction within the ruling party, wavered over whether to challenge Abe in the LDP presidential race last year, but finally decided to throw his support behind the prime minister.
Kishida hails from a prominent political family in Hiroshima, western Japan. In 2016, while serving as foreign minister, he welcomed U.S. President Barack Obama to the atomic-bombed city.
A graduate of Waseda University in Tokyo, Kishida worked at a bank before being elected to the House of Representatives in 1993. He is known as being a fan of the Hiroshima Carp professional baseball team.