The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will go to the polls on Monday. Japan is not a presidential system – the country’s leader is elected by members of parliament, so the next LDP leader, whoever he is, should have an easy way out to become prime minister.
Former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba are also in the running. If Suga is elected, the 71-year-old will mark the culmination of an incredible and unlikely political career.
Suga and Abe’s careers have been close for a decade since they became prime minister in 2012. Abe became the country’s longest-serving leader since the end of World War II.
Suga was Abe’s right-hand man the whole time he served as Prime Minister ‘s Cabinet Secretary, a combination of Chief of Staff and Press Secretary.
But the two could not be more different stylistically. Abe is one of the most important political dynasties in Japan, with a charismatic agenda and an important asset to a party political system. His father was a foreign minister and he was associated with two former prime ministers.
Suga is the son of a farmer who is known as a practical and behind-the-scenes trader. He grew up in rural Akita Prefecture and moved to Tokyo after high school. To save money for the university, he worked in one cardboard factory and another in the famous Sukiji Fish Market. Went to attend part time while working.
After graduation, Suga entered the pace of punishing salaried people in Japan, but it did not last long. It was politics that shaped and influenced the world, and that is what he wanted to do.
So he decided to run for city council in Yokohama. Although he had no connections and no political experience, he resolved it with umption zeal and hard work. He campaigned from house to house, visiting about 300 homes and 30,000 homes a day. By the time the election was over, he was wearing six pairs of shoes.
Suga’s rap changed a bit after that campaign. Today he is known as a successful political operator, and he can be relied upon to do things – qualities that have made him Abe’s right-hand man.
He was a key ally in the Prime Minister’s efforts to implement a series of economic policies known as “Abenomics”, a combination of fiscal stimulus, increased government spending and structural reforms to revive Japan’s stagnant economy.
If elected prime minister, Suga is expected to replace Abe as vice-chancellor and professor of international politics at the University of Hokkaido.
Suzuki said LBP members were trying to tarnish Abe’s reputation after he announced his resignation; Abe’s approval ratings were already heading south. A survey conducted by Mainichi, one of Japan’s largest newspapers, found that 58.4% of those surveyed before Abe’s resignation were dissatisfied with dealing with the pandemic. His approval rating dropped to 36%, the lowest rate since 2012.
Brad Glosserman, an expert on Japanese politics, said: “He is by no means a real departure from the Abe Line or the mainstream of the LDP.
“He has a very good story … He’s a self – made man. However, he’s so much personality, he can shine through,” Glockman said, “Peak Japan: The End of Great Aspirations.”
Critics say major issues such as large government debt and an aging population are huge, and despite Abe publicly calling for reforms to gender equality in the workplace, he has not been able to address the country’s gender bias or issues that prevent more participation of women. In economics and politics.
As chief cabinet secretary, Suga was widely regarded as a successful spokesman because he was able to communicate without hiding a message or his boss. The same skill can prove a problem in high work, in which speech and charisma are important characteristics for communicating a message to the public.
“No one really knows who this man is. He worked behind the curtain,” Glosserman said of Suga. “He has not yet developed and presented a film that will enable the Japanese public to rally behind and support him.”
In an earlier version of this story, Yoshihide incorrectly stated the age of Suga. He is 71 years old.