TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s new prime minister, Fumio Kishida, said on Friday he would do his utmost to lead the country out of the COVID 19-induced national crisis.

“I’m determined to devote body-and-soul to overcome this national crisis with the people, carve out a new era and pass on to the next generation a country whose citizens are rich at heart,” Kishida said in his first policy speech to parliament.

Kishida took the top job in the world’s third-largest economy on Monday, replacing Yoshihide Suga, who had seen his support tank amid a spike in COVID-19 cases. Daily cases have recently fallen, ending a long state of emergency this month.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)

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