The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) today, September 14, voted for a new leader after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his resignation for health reasons.
According to the results of the vote, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, a longtime ally of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, officially became the new Chairman of the LDP.
Mr. Suga will have to go through the Prime Minister’s vote in the National Assembly this week, but he will certainly win as the LDP holds a majority of seats.
Suga and Abe have been side by side for almost a decade, since Abe became prime minister in 2012, and Mr. Suga was appointed as Chief Cabinet Officer.
Although they always go together, Suga and Abe have a completely opposite starting point.
Mr. Abe comes from a family with a tradition in politics. This is extremely important because Japanese society is inherently genealogical. Abe’s father is a former foreign minister, and he shares the last name of two former prime ministers.
Meanwhile, Mr. Suga’s father is a farmer, and Mr. Suga is described as quite backward.
Mr. Suga grew up in the countryside of Akita province. Masashi Yuri – a childhood friend of Mr. Suga said “Suga boy” loves skiing and baseball. He also regularly goes fishing with his friends, and plays baseball in the newly harvested fields until he is covered in mud and scolded by his mother.
Mr. Suga also regularly helps parents at the family’s strawberry garden.
“He always acted stiff. So you really fit the role of a police officer “, Mr. Masashi Yuri (71 years old) said.
From where Mr. Suga lived, it took almost 2 hours to reach high school.
In the winter, 2m of snowfall makes it difficult to go to school for Mr. Suga. After that, the family decided to let Mr. Suga move to Tokyo.
Here, he works a series of “odd jobs” at a cardboard factory and famous fish market in Tsukiji to earn money for university. “Mr. Suga’s family is not poor but also not abundant. His two sisters have gone to university, so maybe the family doesn’t have much money to invest in Mr. Suga’s education, ”said Eiji Ito, another teenage friend.
Determined to pursue politics
Graduated from University, Mr. Suga entered the “world” of salarymen. But this period did not last long, because he wished to step into the political path.
He worked as a secretary to a number of officials, then decided to run for Yokohama City Council to pursue his own political career. Despite lack of relationship and experience, Mr. Suga has proven to have courage and hard work.
He campaigned from house to house, meeting about 300 households a day, and a total of 30,000 households during the campaign. By the time of voting, Mr. Suga had worn up to 6 pairs of shoes.
Mr. Suga was officially elected to the Yokohama City Council in April 1987. In 1996, he was elected to the National Assembly of Japan.
After that, Mr. Suga was promoted to Minister of Interior and Communications and Minister of Post Office Services Privatization in Abe Shinzo’s first cabinet in September 2006.
In 2012, after Shinzo Abe won the general election in 2012, Mr. Suga was appointed as Chief of the Cabinet Office.
Future Prime Minister
Mr. Suga is considered to be capable, and possesses brilliant qualities that make him long regarded as Mr. Abe’s outstanding right hand man.
He is an important ally of the prime minister in enacting a series of economic policies collectively known as “Abenomics”.
As the Chief of the Cabinet Office, Mr. Suga is seen by many as a successful spokesperson because he can convey a message without obscuring the prime minister’s role.
As prime minister, Mr. Suga will face many challenges and problems that have remained since Prime Minister Abe’s time. By October 2021, the Japanese government will have to hold a new prime minister election. However, according to Defense Minister Taro Kono, early elections are likely to take place next month.
According to Reuters, CNN