Suga, Yoshihide

Suga, Yoshihide, 1948—, Japanese political leader. A member of the Liberal Democratic party, he was first elected to the Japanese house of representatives in 1996, having served (from 1987) two terms in Yokohoma's city council. He became (2005) senior vice minister for internal affairs and communications under Prime Minister Koizumi, then was (2006–7) minister for internal affairs and communications, minister for privatization of the postal services, and minister of state for decentralization reform during Shinzo Abe's first prime ministership. When Abe became prime minister again in 2012, he named Suga his chief cabinet secretary; Suga also served as minister in charge of strengthening national security (2012–14) and minister in charge of alleviating the burden of the bases in Okinawa (2014–2020). Suga, noted for his skill in working behind the scenes, was an important ally in Abe's attempts to revive Japan's economy and to reduce limitations on its military. In 2020, when Abe stepped down for health reasons, Suga succeeded him as LDP leader and prime minister, promising continuity with his predecessor's policies. However, he decided not to seek reelection after just one year in office due largely to his difficulties handling the economic impacts of the country's outbreak of COVID-19 . He was succeeded by Fumio Kishida, a former Minister for Foreign Affairs.

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