• Kyodo

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The U.S. government is looking to further strengthen ties with Japan after Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was elected Monday as the head of the ruling party, putting him on course to succeed the outgoing Shinzo Abe as the country's next prime minister.

Suga, 71, a longtime Abe loyalist, has vowed to continue to value the alliance with the United States as the cornerstone of Japan's diplomacy and security and to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific region in the face of China's growing clout — policies that are in line with Abe's.

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