Yoshihide Suga has been elected as Japan's new Prime Minister following a vote in the Parliament on Wednesday, CNN reported today.
The 71-year-old head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) replaces outgoing leader Shinzo Abe, Japan's longest-serving Prime Minister, who announced his intention to resign in August due to health problems related to colitis -- a non-curable inflammatory bowel disease that he was able to manage for most of his tenure.
Suga was elected LDP leader on Monday with about 70% of the votes, but he still required the backing of the country's national legislature, the Diet, before he could officially become Prime Minister.
The new Prime Minister will next announce his cabinet line up, which is expected to include a large number of former Abe appointees, before being sworn in by Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Wednesday afternoon.
Suga was the former Japanese leader's right-hand man during Abe's almost eight years in office throughout his second term, holding the important position of chief cabinet secretary in his government -- a combination of chief of staff and press secretary.
Suga is known as a successful political operator, who can get things done, and worked hand-in-hand with the former leader to implement "Abenomics" -- a series of economic policies designed to boost Japan's flagging economy.