Who is Yoshihide Suga? Japan’s new Prime Minister
The Japanese parliament has elected Yoshihide Suga as the country’s next prime minister after Shinzo Abe resigned due to health issues.
Often called as Abe’s right-hand-man, Suga is expected to carry forward the economic policies of the earlier government, Abenomics.
Suga is a veteran politician and long-time cabinet member. But it’s also true that he has taken the reins of the nation at a difficult time. Japan is the third-largest economy in the world but the Coronavirus pandemic has affected it badly. Japan too is struggling with the coronavirus pandemic which has caused the biggest economic slump on record following years of economic stagnations. The country is also dealing with a rapidly ageing society, with nearly a third of the population older than 65.
Suga was born to a strawberry farmer, and his humble background sets him apart from much of Japan’s political elite.
The 71-year old rose slowly within the political ranks. He came into limelight in 1996 with council elections. In 2005, he became a cabinet minister under Junichiro Koizumi and gained further influence in the subsequent Abe cabinet.
He has a reputation for being efficient and practical and the outgoing prime minister strongly supported his ally’s bid for the leadership.