Tokyo, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has announced his decision not to run for the head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), effectively giving up the premiership, local media reported.

According to NHK, Prime Minister Suga, in an extraordinary board meeting at the party headquarters, said that he will not run for the presidential election because he wants to concentrate on measures against the coronavirus.

Suga on Wednesday ruled out dissolving the House of Representatives for a general election anytime soon, given Japan’s current severe COVID-19 situation and said that the LDP leadership election scheduled for Sept. 29 will not be postponed.

Some LDP lawmakers had thought that Suga would dissolve the House of Representatives in mid-September in order to win at least a modest general election victory before facing off against rivals including former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in the party leadership race.

(EW correspondent)