On Wednesday, the Japanese cabinet approved Yoshihide Suga as Japan's new prime minister.

Suga, 71, succeeds former party leader and longest-serving prime minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, who previously announced his resignation due to health problems.

Suga's premiership is not unexpected: he was already elected new leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on Monday.

The ruling party has a majority in the Japanese parliament.

The entire cabinet of Abe resigned on Wednesday morning, prior to the votes.

On his last day of work, Abe thanked the Japanese people and said he would remain a member of the LDP.

He added that the drugs he is taking for stubborn inflammation in the intestines seem to be working and that he is recovering.

Suga had been Japan's cabinet secretary since 2012.

This made him the main spokesman for Abe.

He says he wants to stick to Abe's approach, including the distinctive monetary policy.

In his new role as Prime Minister, Suga faces significant challenges.

The country is struggling with an aging population and an economy that is suffering from the corona crisis.

Suga will announce his new cabinet later on Wednesday.

See also: Successor of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will inherit significant challenges