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.
Last month Abe announced his resignation due to health reasons.
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.
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.
Now that the LDP has chosen its new leader, there will be another vote on Wednesday in parliament, where he is almost certain to be made prime minister because of the LDP’s majority.
Taking over mid-term, Suga is expected to finish the rest of the current period, until elections in September 2021.