Japan’s ruling party votes for new leader who will almost certainly be next PM

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By Antoni Slodkowski and Leika Kihara TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s ruling party votes for a new leader on Wednesday who will almost certainly become the next prime minister ahead of a general election due in weeks and with the economy staggering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Running for the top post are popular vaccine minister Taro Kono, 58, a U.S.-educated former defence and foreign minister seen as a maverick; ex-foreign minister Fumio Kishida, 64, a consensus-builder saddled with a bland image; former internal affairs minister Sanae Takaichi, 60, an ultra-conservative; and Seiko Noda, 61, from …

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