Yoshihide Suga has been announced as the new Prime Minister of Japan ©Getty Images

Yoshihide Suga has been officially confirmed as the new Prime Minister of Japan and is now in line to lead during the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Suga received 314 votes in the 465-member House of Representatives and 142 votes in the 245-member House of Councillors, receiving a majority in both houses to confirm his new position.

Today's vote came after he was elected as the leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on Monday (September 14), replacing outgoing Prime Minister Shinzō Abe who resigned for health reasons.

The 71-year-old is the first new Prime Minister in eight years with today's vote a formality due to the LDP's majority.

Abe announced he was leaving his position in August due to ongoing health issues, after revealing that he needed treatment for chronic bowel disease.

Suga's main policy focus will be on reviving the economy and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the reorganisation of Tokyo 2020 which was moved back to 2021 due to the spread of the virus.

He has also revealed his new Cabinet, which sees former Olympian Seiko Hashimoto remain in the position of Olympics Minister.

Former Prime Minister and Tokyo 2020 President Yoshirō Mori welcomed Suga to his position.

"The Government of Japan has provided tremendous support to the Tokyo 2020 Games since the bid phase as the driving force behind our 'All-Japan' approach and I hope for Prime Minister Suga's continued support and guidance," said Mori.

Seiko Hashimoto will continue her role as the Minister of the Olympics ©Getty Images
Seiko Hashimoto will continue her role as the Minister of the Olympics ©Getty Images

"We have informed the International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach of Prime Minister Suga's appointment, and he has sent a message offering his congratulations, expressing his gratitude for the National Government's support thus far, and his hope to meet Prime Minister Suga as soon as possible."

Bach added: "I congratulate Suga Yoshihide on becoming Prime Minister of Japan. 

"I wish him all the very best, for him personally and for the Japanese people. 

"At the same time, I would like to thank Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide very much for the commitment he has already expressed for safe and successful Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, next year.

"I am sure that, with this continued personal support of the Prime Minister, the Olympic Games will be the light at the end of the dark tunnel in which humankind currently finds itself.

"The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will send a powerful signal of hope and resilience to the world – and the IOC will stand alongside Japan for every step of the way."

As expected, Health Minister Katsunobu Kato was chosen to succeed Suga as chief cabinet secretary, and will now act as a top Government spokesperson and policy coordinator.

Nobuo Kishi, Abe's younger brother, was named as the new Defence Minister in his first Cabinet position.

The former Defence Minister, Taro Kono, will now act as the Minister for Administrative Reform, in a bid to reduce bureaucracy in Government.

Many others retained their positions included Finance Minister Taro Aso, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi.

Of the 20 Cabinet members, 15 had Ministerial positions in the previous administration.

There are only two women – Hashimoto and Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa.

Suga's term will end in September 2021, when another election will be fought.

At 71 years and nine months old, Suga is the oldest Prime Minister to take office since Kiichi Miyazawa in 1991.

The 2021 Japanese election is currently scheduled for on or before October 22 – coming just over a month after the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics are scheduled to conclude on September 5.

IOC President Thomas Bach was among those to welcome the new Prime Minister ©Getty Images
IOC President Thomas Bach was among those to welcome the new Prime Minister ©Getty Images

Andrew Parsons, the President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), has offered his congratulations to Suga.

"On behalf of the IPC and the whole Paralympic Movement, I warmly congratulate Mr. Suga on his election and appointment as the Prime Minister of Japan," he said.

"Mr. Suga, together with the Government of Japan, has always provided wonderful support to the Tokyo 2020 project right from the bid phase through to present day. 

"We are all looking forward to working with him and his Government to ensure the safe and secure delivery of next year's Games.

"As shown with his support and involvement in the Paralympic one-year-to-go campaign in 2019, when he played boccia against IPC vice president Duane Kale, Mr. Suga is a keen advocate and supporter of the Paralympic Games, the Paralympic Movement and the transformational impact next year's Games will have on driving social inclusion in Japan.

"Mr. Suga and his Government can count on the IPC's full support as we aim to deliver sensational and transformational Games next summer."