Japan: Election race has started

In Short

Early September, Japan’s incumbent PM and LDP President Yoshihide Suga announced to step down as party leader and subsequently as PM. His decision came upon the low public approval ratings and a first contestant for the party leadership election.
Market Commentary

Highlights:

  • After Japan’s Prime Minister (PM) Suga has announced to step down, Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will hold a (possibly first) election for his succession on Sep. 29. The next LDP President will most likely also become Japan’s next PM.
  • Currently, there are three candidates with Mr Kono (the “Vaccination Minister”) leading public polls. However, LDP Diet members, which represent half of the votes, have only begun to sort their candidates. Overall, the result looks still rather open.
  • Independently of the candidates, economic policy concepts are unlikely to change in the short run. All contestants support the BoJ expansionary stance and more emergency fiscal packages. However, there are different views regarding long-term fiscal consolidation and possible BoJ exit strategies. More focus will lie on distribution policies. All candidates stick to the 2050 neutral carbon emission target.
  • Notwithstanding the recent stock market rally (9% since early July), the Topix has still room to achieve decent positive returns in the next months. The market is to benefit from its Value and cyclical qualities in addition to attractive valuations and a still supportive policy stance.

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