Just In: Yoshihide Suga Officially Named As Japan’s 99th Prime Minister

154

Agency Report — Japan’s Yoshihide Suga was voted as the 99th prime minister by parliament on Wednesday to become the country’s first new leader in nearly eight years.

And he straightaway appointed a new cabinet that kept about half of the familiar faces from predecessor Shinzo Abe’s lineup.

Suga, 71, Abe’s longtime right-hand man, has pledged to pursue many of Abe’s programmes, including his “Abenomics” economic strategy, and to forge ahead with structural reforms, including deregulation and shutting down bureaucratic turf battles.

Abe, Japan’s longest-serving premier, resigned because of ill health after nearly eight years in office. Suga served under him in the pivotal post of chief cabinet secretary, acting as top government spokesman and coordinating policies.

Suga, who won a ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leadership race by a landslide on Monday, faces a plethora of challenges, including tackling COVID-19 while reviving a battered economy and dealing with a rapidly aging society.

With little direct diplomatic experience, Suga must also cope with an intensifying U.S.-China confrontation, build ties with the winner of the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election and try to keep Japan’s own relations with Beijing on track.

About half of the new cabinet are carryovers from Abe’s administration. Only two are women and the average age, including Suga, is 60.

Among those retaining their jobs are key players such as Finance Minister Taro Aso and Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, along with Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto and Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi, the youngest at 39.

“It’s a ‘Continuity with a capital C’ cabinet,” said Jesper Koll, senior adviser to asset manager WisdomTree Investments.

Abe’s younger brother, Nobuo Kishi, was handed the defence portfolio, while outgoing Defence Minister Taro Kono takes charge of administrative reform, a post he has held before.

Yasutoshi Nishimura, Abe’s point man on COVID-19 response, remains economy minister, while Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama, the son of a politician to whom Suga looked up as his mentor, also retains his post.

Katsunobu Kato, outgoing health minister and a close Suga ally, takes on the challenging post of chief cabinet secretary.
He announced the cabinet lineup.

Subscribe to Our VIP Newsletter

SHARE
Previous articlePDP Hails US Visa Ban On Election Riggers As UK Blows Hot, Weighs Options
Avatar

The new Diplomat stand for ethical journalism, press freedom, accountable Republic, and gender-equity. That is why at The New Diplomat, we are committed to speaking truth to power, fostering a robust community of responsible journalism, and using high quality polls, data, and surveys to engage the public with compelling narratives about political, business, socio-economic, environmental, and situational dynamics in Nigeria, Africa, and globally. From our insightful reports of political issues to our riveting investigations and analyses of business, socio-economic, and cross-cutting sectors, The New Diplomat remains ever committed to investigative reporting and ethical journalism. Support and partner with The New Diplomat today, to guarantee a positive future for all under an atmosphere of free press!

Leave a Reply