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Fumio Kishida was elected Japan’s 100th prime minister on Monday. He takes office with two pressing tasks. The first, more long term, is to restore confidence in the economy, which means recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and tackling the growing inequality that marks Japanese society. The second, and most immediate, is leading his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to victory in national elections now scheduled for the end of October.

The second is relatively easy; the first will take energy, creativity and patience. It isn’t clear if Kishida has all three.

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