Suga takes charge as Japan’s PM

-Pledges to pursue Abe’s policies, including “Abenomics” strategy

DM Monitoring

TOKYO: Yoshihide Suga was elected as Japan’s prime minister on Wednesday, becoming the country’s first new leader in nearly eight years and facing a raft of challenges including reviving an economy battered by the COVID-19 crisis.
Suga, who served as chief cabinet secretary to outgoing premier Shinzo Abe, was voted in by the lower house of parliament where his ruling Liberal Democratic Party holds a majority.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga named his new cabinet, with roughly half of the ministers carried over from those of predecessor Shinzo Abe in line with his pledge to continue Abe’s policies. Taro Aso remained in his position as finance minister and Toshimitsu Motegi kept his job as foreign minister. Among new cabinet members was Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi, Abe’s younger brother. New Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato announced the lineup at a news conference.
Moreover, Japan’s Yoshihide Suga was voted prime minister by parliament on Wednesday to become the country’s first new leader in nearly eight years, appointing 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 US-China confrontation, build ties with the winner of the Nov. 3 US presidential election and try to keep Japan’s own relations with Beijing on track.