Who is Yoshihide Suga, Chosen as Shinzo Abe's Successor, Japan's Next PM

From humble background of strawberry farmer's family, working at a cardboard factory to becoming the Prime Minister of Japan, here are 5 lesser-known facts about Yoshihide Suga

Japan's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) elected Yoshihide Suga as the successor to Shinzo Abe. With this, Suga is almost certain to become the country's next prime minister. The election was necessitated after Abe announced that he was resigning from the position of party president due to ill health, last month.

Suga was declared the winner after he received 377 votes out of votes out of 534 votes cast during ruling Liberal Democratic Party election conducted to finalize a successor to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The other two contestants - foreign minister Fumio Kishida got 89 votes and former defense minister Shigeru Ishiba managed to get 68 votes. Here are 5 facts about highly trending man in Japan, Yoshihide Suga.

Yoshihide Suga
Yoshihide Suga was elected as the new head of Japan’s ruling party LDF. Instagram

Humble Background

Suga comes from a family of strawberry farmers in Ogachi (currently known as Yuzawa), a rural area in Akita Prefecture. He completed his graduation from Yuzawa High School. Then he moved to Tokyo and got his Bachelor of Law degree from Hosei University in 1973, by studying in the night school. He even worked at a cardboard factory to pay his fees to manage his monthly expenses.

Entry into politics

Suga got his first job in the election campaign team in the House of Councillors. He was then promoted as a secretary to LDP Diet Member Hikosaburo Okonogi, father of LDP politician Hachiro Okonogi. He worked in the post for eleven years to get a stronghold in political matters. In 1986, he resigned from the post to become a politician himself. He chose door-to-door campaign and visited 30,000 houses on foot. He won the election and got elected from the Yokohama City in 1987.

Longest serving chief cabinet secretary of Japan

Since then, he has worked in many capacities including as Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications during Abe's first tenure as Prime Minister from 2006 to 2007. Currently aged 71, Suga's latest job was the chief cabinet secretary in the current government. He has also served as the longest serving chief cabinet secretary in the history of Japan. Suga and Taro Aso are the only members who were in Abe's cabinet in 2012 and remained as the cabinet members in November 2019.

Trends set by Suga

Suga was the first politician to start the trend of delivering campaign speeches in front of train stations. Currently it is a norm, but when he had started it in 1986, many political leaders were critical of him. He also played an important role in development of Japan's "hometown donation" system. This system allowed taxpayers to obtain deductions by donating money to local governments. He was also known to have pushed Abe to focus on the economy rather than using military as a means of settling international disputes.

Family and fitness

Suga is married to Mariko, sister of his co-worker in Hikosaburo Okonogi's office. He has three sons. He was asked by doctors to maintain health and lose weight. As per his doctor's advice he is said to have been doing 100 sit-ups, 40 minutes of walking in the morning, and 100 sit-ups at night. It is said that he was able to lose 14 kg of weight in four months.

As the new president of LDP, Suga will receive an invitation from Emperor Naruhito to form a government as the new prime minister. Once he is officially elected to the top post, he will become the first new prime minister of the Reiwa era.