TOKYO—Fumio Kishida, a former foreign minister who has called for Japan’s missile defenses to be beefed up, was elected ruling party leader on Wednesday, assuring him of becoming the nation’s next prime minister.

Mr. Kishida, 64 years old, is an establishment choice who, like his predecessors, supports a strong U.S.-Japan alliance and is concerned about China’s military expansion. He also favors aggressive government spending worth hundreds of billions of dollars to lift Japan’s economy out of the doldrums caused by measures to limit the spread of Covid-19.

 

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