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Kono Gains Momentum in Japan PM Race; Report Says Rival Out

Taro Kono
Taro KonoPhotographer: Toru Hanai/Bloomberg

Japan’s vaccine czar Taro Kono looked to be gaining momentum in the race to be the next prime minister after reports said several ministers were planning to back him and one of his expected rivals would stay out of the contest.

Former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba, who had been considering a run to take the top job in the Liberal Democratic Party and replace outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, has dropped the idea and is thinking of supporting Kono, the Yomiuri newspaper reported Tuesday, citing sources close to Ishiba.