Japan's governing party has elected Yoshihide Suga as its new leader to succeed Shinzo Abe, meaning he is almost certain to become the country's next prime minister.
Last month Mr Abe announced his resignation due to health reasons.
Mr Suga, 71, serves as chief cabinet secretary in the current administration and was widely expected to win.
He is considered a close ally of Mr Abe and likely to continue his predecessor's policies.
As had been widely expected, Mr Suga won by a large margin, taking 377 of a total of 534 votes from his party's lawmakers and regional representatives.
Now that the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has chosen its new leader, there will be another vote on Wednesday in parliament, where he is almost certain to be made prime minister because of the LDP's majority.
Taking over mid-term, Mr Suga is expected to finish the rest of the current period, until elections in September 2021.
Who is Yoshihide Suga?
Born the son of strawberry farmers, Mr Suga is a veteran politician.
Given his central role of chief cabinet secretary in the administration, he is expected to provide continuity heading an interim government until the 2021 election.
"Shinzo Abe and the other party bosses picked and joined the bandwagon for Mr Suga precisely because he was the best 'continuity' candidate, someone who they think could continue Abe government without Abe," Koichi Nakano, dean and political science professor at Tokyo's Sophia University, told the BBC.
While not considered the most energetic or passionate politician, Mr Suga has a reputation of being very efficient and practical.
One of his most prominent appearances recently was during the transition from past emperor Akihito to the current one Naruhito in 2019. It fell to Mr Suga to unveil the name of the new Reiwa era to the Japanese and global public.
Yet while he was the favourite to clinch the LDP leadership after Abe's resignation, it is much less clear whether he will lead the party in next year's general election.
Observers suggest that by then, the party dynamic could shift to put a more vibrant man at the helm who can reach a wider general electorate.
BDST: 1306 HRS, SEP 14, 2020