Japan’s ruling party has chosen Yoshihide Suga as its new leader after Shinzo Abe.
Now it is almost certain that Yoshihide will be the new Prime Minister of Japan. Only last month Shinzo Abe resigned due to health reasons.
71-year-old Yoshihide Suga is also close to Shinzo Abe and it is believed that he will pursue his policies.
He got 377 votes out of 534 of his party’s MPs and regional representatives to be elected leader.
Voting will now be held in Parliament on Wednesday, where he is set to become Prime Minister, given the party’s majority.
The next parliamentary elections in Japan will be held in September 2021.
Who are Yoshihida Suga
Born in a family of a strawberry farmer, Yoshihide Suga’s story of reaching the top separates him from the political elite that has long dominated Japan’s politics.
His political journey began when he worked for the parliamentary election campaign soon after graduating from Tokyo’s Hosei University.
Later, he worked as a secretary of the Liberal Democratic Party MP. After this, he started his own political journey.
In 1987, he was elected to the Yokohama City Council and in 1996 he was elected to the Parliament of Japan for the first time.
In 2005, the then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made him Senior Deputy Minister of the Department of Internal Affairs and Communications.
After this, Shinzo Abe, who took over as PM, gave Suga three cabinet posts and gave him the status of senior minister and he continued to hold this responsibility till 2007.
He had a good relationship with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. When Abe became PM again in 2012, he gave Suga the effective position of Chief Cabinet Secretary.
For the last eight years, Suga, considered the right hand of Shinzo Abe, remained in the headlines. He had to undergo a media briefing twice every day. It was also believed that the management of Japan’s complex bureaucracy was also their responsibility.
Suga, who is considered the public face of administration in Japan, also had the responsibility of identifying the new imperial era in 2019 after the removal of Emperor Akihito. The royal era was named under the new emperor Naruhito – Riva, which meant beautiful harmony.
Suga had announced this and due to this he was affectionately called Uncle Riva.
When PM Shinzo Abe announced to quit on August 28 this year due to poor health, from that time it was believed that Abe’s successor would be Suga.
On September 2, Suga formally announced his candidacy, but before that most of the party had announced his support to Suga.
Due to this support, on September 14, he was elected the leader of the party. He is the first leader who does not come from any party faction nor has he inherited politics. Now he is going to become the new Prime Minister of Japan.
Yoshihide Suga is seen to represent continuity and stability in the country after the tenure of Japan’s longest leader Shinzo Abe.
When he announced his candidacy for the post of leader, he said that he will continue the economic policy of Shinzo Abe, which is called Abenomics. Abe had made this policy on the basis of monetary comfortable environment, fiscal stimulus and structural reforms.
Suga also aims to amend Japan’s post-war pacifist constitution to legalize the Self-Defense Force. This has also been an important agenda of Shinzo Abe.
But his challenge at the moment is to deal with the Corona epidemic and the economic crisis it has caused.
Suga wants to increase testing and aims to get a suitable vaccine in the first six months of next year.
They want to revive regional economies by increasing minimum wages, promoting agricultural reforms and promoting tourism.
On the foreign policy front, they are giving priority to the long-running alliance of the US and Japan and they also want an independent Indo-Pacific.
Suga also aims to maintain a stable relationship with China.
Their goal is to continue trying to solve the case of kidnapping of Japanese civilians by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s. These include a proposal for an unconditional meeting with North Korean President Kim Jong Un.