By Invitation

Will Suga make the most of new foreign policy cards?

A Biden presidency is good news for Japan but the most pressing concerns of Abe's successor are domestic.

For now, as the year draws to a close, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's priorities are largely domestic by circumstance and inclination, says the writer.
For now, as the year draws to a close, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's priorities are largely domestic by circumstance and inclination, says the writer. PHOTO: REUTERS

Yoshihide Suga became Japan's 99th prime minister in September when Mr Shinzo Abe bowed out because of poor health. In many ways the two men could not be more different. Mr Abe is a political blue blood while Mr Suga, the son of a strawberry farmer, spent over four decades slogging his way up the political ladder.

There is another crucial difference - unlike Mr Abe, Mr Suga's strengths and interest are not in the foreign policy or security domain. His achievements thus far have been in restructuring the tax system in favour of local authorities and lowering telephone communication fees.

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