BBN Special

Ten Things To Know About Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s New Prime Minister

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Japan’s chief cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, a long time ally of outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was on Monday elected as the new Leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), paving the way for him to become Prime Minister in a parliamentary vote this week. Outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had announced his resignation last month due to health issues.

Below are Ten Notable things to Know about the new Prime Minister.

1. 71 year-old Yoshihide Suga before now has been known as one of Shinzo Abe’s closest confidants and served in the powerful post of chief cabinet Secretary in Japanese history, coordinating policies and keeping bureaucrats in line.

2. Suga, the son of a strawberry farmer from Northern Japan, also holds the distinction of being the longest serving chief cabinet Secretary in Japanese history.

3. He represented the Kanagawa 2nd district in the House of Representatives since 1996 and previously served as Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications during Abe’s first tenure as Prime Minister from 2006 to 2007.

4. Suga’s reputation allowed him to be one of the few members of LDP to retain their seat in the diet after LDP lost power to the short-lived Democratic Party of Japan in 2008. It was Suga who convinced Abe to successfully run for Prime Minister a second time in 2012, and it is said that Suga was the one who encouraged Abe to focus his positioning on the economy, dubbed Abenomics, rather than his desire to revise Japan’s constitution.

5. Upon his election, Abe awarded Suga’s loyalty by naming him chief cabinet Secretary, and he was considered as the Prime Minister’s right hand man.

6. Suga’s nickname is Uncle Reiwa, when Emperor Naruhito ascended to the imperial throne last May, the Reiwa Era officially began, the name of the new era was decided after months of secret deliberations, and when the name was officially made public, Suga was choose to deliver the news on live TV.

7. As Abe’s chief cabinet Secretary, Suga was the face of twice daily government briefings and he quickly became his Key Lieutenant.

8. He’s a self made man from a humble background with a particular strength in politics and he’s worked his way to the top.

9. In September 2020, Suga announced his Candidacy in the 2020 LDP leadership election to succeed Abe, who announced his resignation days prior due to health issues.

10. On 14 September, he was elected as the new president of the LDP and concurrently will receive an invitation from Emperor Naruhito to form a government as the new Prime Minister.

Abass Latifat

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