Chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga
- Former foreign minister Fumio Kishida
- Former defence minister Shigeru Ishiba
Are all in the running to replace retiring Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. Suga is the hot favourite.
There is some suggestion that whoever is Japan’s next prime minister could call a snap general election shortly after taking office.
The ruling party (LDP) will elect a new leader on September 14. The lower house of Parliament is expected to convene on September 16 to choose a new prime minister (which will be the LDP president elected on September 14).