Yoshihide Suga was elected as the new head of Japan’s ruling party on Liberal Democratic Party on Monday, which virtually guarantees him parliamentary election as the country’s next prime minister.
Suga received 377 votes in the election to pick a successor to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, reports AP.
The other two contenders former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba and former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida received a combined 157 votes.
Abe announced last month that he would resign on health grounds.
The expected victory in the party vote by Suga, the current chief Cabinet secretary, all but guarantees his election in a parliamentary vote Wednesday because of the majority held by the Liberal Democrats’ ruling coalition.
Despite his low-key image as Abe's right-hand man, Suga is known for his iron-fist approach to getting jobs done as a policy coordinator and influencing bureaucrats by using the centralised power of the prime minister's office.
Suga says that he is a reformist and that he has worked to achieve policies by breaking territorial barriers of bureaucracy. He has credited himself for those efforts in achieving a booming foreign tourism industry in Japan, lowering cellphone bills and bolstering agricultural exports.
Compared to his political skills at home, Suga has hardly traveled overseas, and his diplomatic skills are unknown.
In addition to the coronavirus and the economic fallout, Suga stands to inherit several other challenges, including China, which continues its assertive actions in the East China Sea.
He also will have to decide what to do with the Tokyo Olympics, which were pushed back to next summer due to the coronavirus. And he will have to establish a good relationship with whoever wins the US presidential race.
A landslide triggered by overnight rainfall swept through three Nepalese villages Sunday, killing at least six people while 26 were reported missing and believed to be buried by debris, officials said, reports AP.
Rescuers and villagers at Sindhupalchowk district, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of the capital, Kathmandu, managed to pull out the six bodies from underneath houses and were searching for the others, government administrator Baburam Khanal said.
Landslides are common in mountainous Nepal during the monsoon season that usually ends in September.
According to the Home Ministry, monsoon-related deaths this year have reached 351 with 85 missing.
Indian Home Minister Amit Shah has been admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on Saturday after recovering from Covid-19.
He has been admitted to the hospital for medical check-up before the upcoming Parliament session, said hospital authorities, reports Hindustan Times.
The monsoon session of Parliament begins Monday.
“Union Home Minister Amit Shah was discharged from AIIMS after post-Covid care on August 30. As per advice given at discharge, he has now been admitted for a complete medical checkup before the parliament session for 1-2 days,” the hospital’s media and protocol division said in a statement.
The 55-year-old tested positive for Covid-19 on August 2.
Also read: Amit Shah contracts COVID-19
Shah had announced his health status on Twitter after testing positive for the virus, and urged those who came in contact with him in recent days to isolate themselves and get tested.
The home minister tested negative for the disease on August 14.
India, the second worst-hit country in the world has recorded 94,372 new cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total tally to 4.75 million.
The Health Ministry on Sunday also reported 1,114 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities up to 78,586, reports AP.
Even as infections are growing faster in India than anywhere else in the world, the number of people recovering from the virus has also risen sharply, it said.
The country’s recovery rate stands at 77.77 percent and nearly 70,000 recoveries have been reported every day in the month of September, according to the Health Ministry.
The ministry attributed India’s COVID-19 recovery pace to aggressive testing and prompt surveillance, but experts say India needs to test more due to its huge population. It's climbed to the second worst-hit country behind the United States, and is now testing more than 1 million people every day.
Read Also: Coronavirus: Global death toll 919,081
India’s Parliament is expected to resume work on Monday with strict physical distancing. Parliament adjourned in March just before a nationwide lockdown was announced to contain the pandemic.
The harsh lockdown caused a severe economic crisis, with India's economy contracting nearly 24 percent in the second quarter, the worst among the world’s top economies.
Coronavirus cases were first reported in China in December last year. The World Health Organization declared the crisis a pandemic in March.
The number of globally confirmed cases stood at 28,660,123 on Sunday morning as the death count soared to 919,081, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The Indian and Chinese foreign ministers have agreed that their troops should disengage from a tense border standoff, maintain proper distance and ease tensions in Ladakh region where the two sides had their deadliest clash in decades in June.
India’s S Jaishankar and China’s Wang Yi met in the Russian capital on Thursday night and concurred that "the current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either side,” according to the joint statement issued Friday, reports AP.
Since last week, the Asian giants have accused each other of sending soldiers into the rival’s territory and firing warning shots for the first time in 45 years, threatening a full-scale military conflict.
They did not set any timeline for the disengagement of tens of thousands of troops in a standoff since May, but agreed that "both sides shall abide by all the existing agreements and protocol on China-India boundary affairs, maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas and avoid any action that could escalate matters.”
Earlier this week, Jaishankar described the current situation along the Line of Actual Control as “very serious” and said the state of the border cannot be separated from the state of the relationship.
China outlines ‘stern position’
On Thursday, the two countries agreed that as the situation eases, they should expedite work to conclude "new confidence building measures to maintain and enhance peace and tranquility in the border areas."
In a separate statement, Wang said “China-India relations have once again come to a crossroads."
Wang “outlined China's stern position on the situation in the border areas, emphasising that the imperative is to immediately stop provocations such as firing and other dangerous actions that violate the commitments made by the two sides," the statement said.
“It is also important to move back all personnel and equipment that have trespassed. The frontier troops must quickly disengage so that the situation may de-escalate," it quoted Wang as saying.
They met on the sidelines of a gathering of the foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The body comprises China, India, Pakistan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Krgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
The disputed 3,500-kilometer border between the world’s two most populous countries stretches from the Ladakh to Sikkim. The latest standoff is over portions of a pristine landscape that boasts the world’s highest landing strip and a glacier that feeds one of the largest irrigation systems in the world.
Both sides accuse the other of provocative behaviour including crossing into each other’s territory and both have vowed to protect their territorial integrity.
The two nations fought a border war in 1962 that spilled into Ladakh and ended in an uneasy truce. Since then, troops have guarded the undefined border area, occasionally brawling. They have agreed not to attack each other with firearms.
Rival soldiers brawled in May and June with clubs, stones and their fists with a clash on a high ridge June 15 leaving 20 Indian soldiers dead. China reported no casualties.