tirsdag 15. september 2020

The unlikely rise of Yoshihide Suga, the son of a farmer who is expected to become Japan's next Prime Minister

If Shinzo Abe was perhaps born to be Japan's Prime Minister, the path to political stardom for his potential successor was hardly guaranteed. Yoshihide Suga has long been viewed by many political analysts as the front runner to replace Prime Minister Abe, who announced last month he was stepping down due to complications related to colitis, a non-curable inflammatory bowel disease that he was able to manage for most of his tenure.

On Monday, Suga was voted in as the new leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), securing about 70% of the votes, paving the way for the 71-year-old to become Prime Minister in a parliamentary vote later this week. Former foreign minister Fumio Kishida and former defense minister Shigeru Ishiba were the other two candidates running.

Japan is not a presidential system -- the country's leader is chosen by parliamentarians, and the national legislature will formally select the Prime Minister on Wednesday. Suga and Abe's careers have been tied for nearly a decade since the latter became Prime Minister in 2012. Abe went on to become the country's longest-serving leader since the end of World War II.