• REUTERS, KYODO, JIJI

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Outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will back the popular minister in charge of the nation’s vaccination rollout to succeed him, while Liberal Democratic Party kingmaker and former leader Shinzo Abe will support a hawkish ex-internal affairs minister, domestic media reported Saturday.

Political maneuvering was heating up among potential candidates and ruling party grandees on Saturday, a day after Suga’s surprise announcement that he was stepping down, ending a one-year term as prime minister that has seen his support crumble as COVID-19 surged.

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