Japan’s chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga was elected as the new president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on Monday as outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s successor. The following is a profile of Suga:
Suga was born in 1948 and graduated from Hosei University in 1973 and obtained a Bachelor of Laws.
A native of Akita Prefecture, Suga has worked as a secretary for a lawmaker for 11 years. In 1987, he was elected to the Yokohama City Council and secured a House of Representatives seat in 1996.
He served as minister of internal affairs and communications and minister for privatization of the postal services from September 2006 to August 2007 in the first cabinet of Abe which ended in September 2007.
In October 2011, he was appointed chairman of Party Organization and Campaign Headquarters of the LDP. In September 2012, he was appointed executive acting secretary-general of the LDP.
Suga was appointed as the chief cabinet secretary in December 2012 when Abe returned to office. He became the longest serving chief cabinet secretary ever in the country.
In September 2014, he was given the additional portfolio of minister in charge of mitigating the impact of the bases in Okinawa.
On April 1, 2019, Suga announced the name of Japan’s new era “Reiwa” and gained public attention.
A longtime confidant of Abe, Suga has been seen as the public face of the Abe administration and played a coordinating role behind the scenes to address discord within the ruling coalition.
Suga is married and has three children.