Kishida trounced Kono in the votes among lawmakers

No majority was to be expected but Kono did certainly underperform in the first round of voting, with Kishida even edging him in terms of total votes.

With lawmakers largely siding with Kishida (146 lawmaker votes) over Kono (86 lawmaker votes), it is hard to see how Kono will claim victory here.


Japanese stocks have eased further on the headlines, likely due to foreign investors who would have favoured Kono taking over. That said, Kishida was once dubbed as Abe's heir before losing to Suga in the last election so I doubt there would be any drastic change to overall policies in Japan if he becomes prime minister next.

If anything, this is also perhaps some element of a "buy the rumour, sell the fact" play considering the surge higher in Japanese stocks ever since incumbent prime minister Suga announced that he would step down.