Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa is emerging as a candidate to succeed Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, whose Cabinet is facing perilously low approval ratings.

Since Kamikawa took office in September, her reputation has been gradually bolstered by her energetic diplomatic trips to the point where some in the ruling coalition expect her to become the country's first female prime minister.

In Washington on Friday, Kamikawa met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. She told reporters later that she and Blinken agreed that their countries will work together to maintain and strengthen the free and open international order based on the rule of law.