THREAD: Shinzo Abe’s election victory in 2012 ended the period of the "revolving door" in Japan's contemporary politics, which saw eight prime ministers in nine years.

But after his resignation due to health reasons, who will replace Abe?

1/ Taro Aso

Gaffe-prone but a powerful party player, the 79 years old Aso has already served as prime minister once from 2008-09. Currently finance minister and deputy prime minister, analysts think he wants to have another shot at the PM office.

2/ Shigeru Ishiba

Abe's political rival, Ishiba has often been a vocal critic of the prime minister. A former defence minister, who has competed with Abe for party leadership, Ishiba leads a marginal LDP faction of 19 parliamentarians.

3/ Fumio Kishida

An Abe loyalist, former foreign minister Kishida hails from the liberal wing of the Liberal Democratic Party, commands 50 parliamentarians & leads its policy council. But he's been criticized widely for his Covid-19 policies.

4/ Taro Kono

The American-educated defence minister belongs to the Aso-led faction of the LDP, but is his own man. With an independent streak that saw him nix a major defense deal, he's considered a maverick -- not customary in Japanese politics.

5/ Toshimitsu Motegi

The foreign minister, also a former McKinsey consultant, may step in to rally the rightwing of the LDP, Japan's ruling party, which would want him to finish the constitutional reforms that Abe promised.

6/ Yoshihide Suga

The local politician who rose from provincial politics to become a mainstay in Tokyo's parlors and backrooms, Suga has been a loyal deputy to Abe. But while he lacks charisma, he has administrative competency.

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