Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated Yoshihide Suga on the appointment as Prime Minister of Japan.

In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, “Heartiest congratulations to Excellency Yoshihide Suga on the appointment as Prime Minister of Japan. I look forward to jointly taking our Special Strategic and Global Partnership to new heights.”

Yoshihide Suga was elected as the prime minister by Japan’s Parliament on Wednesday. Yoshihide Suga has replaced Shinzo Abe, the longest-serving Prime Minister in Japanese history, who had resigned because of ill health.

Suga, who was the Chief Cabinet Secretary in Abe’s government, is to launch his own Cabinet later on Wednesday. He was chosen as the leader of the ruling party on Monday. He has been a loyal supporter of Abe since Abe’s first stint as prime minister from 2006 to 2007.

Suga asserted that he will pursue Abe’s unfinished policies and that his top priorities will be fighting the coronavirus and turning around an economy battered by the pandemic and will appoint “reform-minded, hard-working people” to the new cabinet.

Yoshihide Suga will inherit a range of challenges, including relations with China and Tokyo Olympics.

Meanwhile, Shinzo Abe, while addressing reporters at the prime minister’s office before heading into his final cabinet meeting had said, “I devoted my body and soul for the economic recovery and diplomacy to protect Japan’s national interest every single day since we returned to power. During this time, I was able to tackle various challenges together with the people, and I’m proud of myself.”