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Author Topic: Yoshihide Suga confirmed as Japan's new PM  (Read 769 times)

Offline SLNAgency

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Yoshihide Suga confirmed as Japan's new PM
on: September 16, 2020, 10:03:47 AM


Yoshihide Suga was elected by Wednesday's lower house of parliament as Japan's next prime minister, succeeding Shinzo Abe who resigned due to poor health and vowed to continue his signature economic policies.

The 71-year-old Suga-a strawberry farmer's son-won Monday's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leadership contest and was all but assured of the top job when his nomination went to a parliamentary vote provided the two-thirds majority of the party.

After years of economic depression and coping with the long-term consequences of the world's oldest population-COVID-19 has dealt a serious blow to Japan.

The world's third-largest economy shrank a record 27.8 percent from April to June this year compared with the previous quarter due to pandemic-related lockdowns that were only relaxed in late May.

Unlike his predecessors, Suga does not come from a privileged background and rose to the top of the LDP without belonging to any of its powerful factions.

As the face of the Abe government - helming regular news conferences as its chief spokesman - Suga cut a rather dour figure, but has attempted to portray a friendlier demeanour since he emerged as a frontrunner in the race to replace Abe.

The fight against the coronavirus will be a priority, but he has also signalled a continuation of the broad policy framework of Abenomics, the three-pronged strategy that was Abe's signature policy and that involved monetary easing, government spending and structural reform.

He is expected to push forward with his own initiatives, including bureaucratic reform, digitalisation, and helping Japan's rural communities through policies on agriculture and tourism.

The former Chief Cabinet Secretary and Abe loyalist will announce his cabinet later on Wednesday and is expected to keep many of Abe's team in place.

Analysts say the knowledge of his insiders about the dynamics of Japan 's bureaucracy and skillful political deal-making from his long tenure as the righthand man of Abe should help with the formidable challenges ahead.

"Nobody has had a tenure as long as Suga," Kiyoaki Aburaki, BowerGroup Asia's managing director in Tokyo, told Al Jazeera ahead of vote. "He knows both. He knows how democracy functions. He knows how sectionalism has stopped progress before. That's a huge advantage to him."

SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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