by Patrick Fearon-Hernandez, CFA | PDF
Whenever a big, rich country gets a new leader, there could be potential investment implications, and Japan is no exception to this rule. When former Prime Minister Suga announced last summer that he wouldn’t seek reelection as head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, the first step in Japan’s political transition to a new leader was the party’s vote in mid-September naming former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida to take over as LDP chief and, upon a later majority vote in the Diet (Japan’s legislature), as the head of government. Facing a legal deadline to hold new elections by the end of November, Kishida called for the next ballot to be on October 31. Now that the LDP has won that election, giving Kishida a full four-year term as prime minister, it’s a good time to review his background, leadership skills, and likely policies going forward. At the end of this report, we also explore the likely investment ramifications as Kishida takes power.