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Profile of New LDP President Suga: Adept in Backstage Politics

Profile of New LDP President Suga: Adept in Backstage Politics

   Tokyo, Sept. 14 (Jiji Press)--Yoshihide Suga, who is almost certain to become Japan's next prime minister this week after he was elected president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Monday, is known as a master of behind-the-scenes politics.
   Despite being thrust into the national spotlight last April when he announced "Reiwa" as the name of the new Imperial era to mark the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito, Suga, 71, has been at his best in a supporting role.
   As chief cabinet secretary, he served as the cornerstone of the administration of outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, dealing with crisis management and coordination between ministries and agencies.
   Suga's role model is Toyotomi Hidenaga, who advised his elder brother and feudal warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 16th-century Japan. But Suga's election to LDP leader means that he will have to take center stage in national politics instead of playing a supporting role.
   Born into a farming family in Akita Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Suga came to Tokyo after graduating from high school. He went to Hosei University while working part time to pay for the tuition, then became a corporate employee and later a secretary to a lawmaker in Japan's parliament.

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