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Newly elected leader of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Yoshihide Suga (C) is applauded after being elected as Japan's prime minister by the Lower House of parliament in Tokyo on Wednesday. Photo: Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images

Yoshihide Suga was formally elected as Japan's prime minister by parliament’s lower house on Wednesday, per AP.

Why it matters: Suga is the first new leader of the world's third-largest economy in nearly eight years, after Shinzo Abe officially resigned from the role earlier in the day.

The big picture: Suga, Japan's former chief cabinet secretary was last Monday elected the new head of the country's ruling Liberal Democratic Party after winning 377 of the 535 available votes from lawmakers and regional representatives, per Bloomberg.

  • He was an Abe ally and favorite to take over from him.
  • The 71-year-old is six years older than Abe, who announced his resignation late last month due to chronic ulcerative colitis.
  • Suga, the son of a schoolteacher and a strawberry farmer from Japan's rural north, is a rare leading lawmaker not from a political elite family, the New York Times notes.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 27, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Japan's big coal rethink

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Now that Japan has set a target to become carbon-neutral by 2050, the scale of the challenge is coming into focus — especially when it comes to the country's reliance on coal.

Driving the news: Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's Monday speech announcing the target vowed to "fundamentally shift our long-standing policy on coal-fired power generation," Climate Home News reports.

Cedric Richmond: We won't wait on GOP for "insufficient" stimulus

Top Biden adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" the White House believes it has bipartisan support for a stimulus bill outside the Beltway.

  • "If our choice is to wait and go bipartisan with an insufficient package, we are not going to do that."

The big picture: The bill will likely undergo an overhaul in the Senate after House Democrats narrowly passed a stimulus bill this weekend, reports Axios' Kadia Goba.

Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Cuomo asks for “independent” investigator into sexual harassment claims

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at a press conference on Feb. 24. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AFP via Getty Images

A top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that he would authorize and "voluntarily cooperate" with an independent investigation run by New York's attorney general into claims he sexually harassed several women.

The state of play: The statement comes after a day of competing statements from Cuomo and AG Letitcia James over who would oversee an independent investigation into the governor.