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After a monthlong, surprisingly competitive race for Japan’s new leader, the contest ended predictably: Fumio Kishida, the most experienced, most middle-of-the-road candidate, is set to become Japan’s 100th prime minister.

For good or ill, Kishida is seen by investors as a continuity choice — stable, but unlikely to energize markets much. Early in the race, foreign investors and retail traders were intrigued by the potential of a Taro Kono victory, attracted by his fluent English, reformist leanings and social-media savvy.

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