Japan's governing party has elected Yoshihide Suga as its new leader to succeed Shinzo Abe, meaning he is almost certain to become the country's next prime minister.
Japan's main ruling party has elected Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide its new leader. The 71-year-old politician is virtually assured to succeed Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, who announced last month his intention to step down to deal with his health.
Last month Mr Abe announced his resignation for reasons of ill health.
Mr Suga, 71, serves as chief cabinet secretary in the current administration and was widely expected to win.
He is considered a close ally of Mr Abe and likely to continue his predecessor's policies.
Mr Suga won the vote for the presidency of the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) by a large margin, taking 377 of a total of 534 votes from lawmakers and regional representatives.
He saw off two other contenders - Fumio Kishida, a former foreign minister, and Shigeru Ishiba, a former LDP secretary-general and one time defence minister.