Fumio Kishida, the head of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), has won the leadership contest, putting him on course to become the country’s next prime minister. Yoshihide Suga, who resigned after only one year in office, will be replaced by Mr. Kishida. His first order of business as Prime Minister will be to lead the LDP to victory in the upcoming general election. The party’s popularity plunged as it was forced to host the Tokyo Olympics despite public opposition. Kishida, a former Foreign Minister, defeated Taro Kono, who was widely considered the most popular candidate. Thanks to the LDP’s legislative majority, Mr. Kishida’s status as Prime Minister is all but assured. Mr. Kishida, 64, had long desired to be Prime Minister but lost last year’s election to Mr. Suga.

The new prime minister will face severe problems, including economic recovery following the pandemic and coping with North Korean threats. He believes a resolution denouncing China’s treatment of the Uyghur minority should be issued, and he has called for the creation of a “health crisis management agency” to deal with the pandemic. “My skill is to sincerely listen to people,” Mr. Kishida remarked after winning. “I’m dedicated to working with everyone to create an open LDP and a prosperous Japan.”