• Reuters, Jiji

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Shigeru Ishiba, a heavyweight politician of Japan’s ruling party, formally announced on Wednesday that he would not run for the party’s leadership race, throwing his support instead behind Taro Kono, a top contender in public opinion polls to become the next prime minister.

There had been some speculation the former defense minister would run in the widely-contested election for leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga pulled out in early September.

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