: Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga Is Resigning. Here’s What That Means #WorldNEWS Yoshihide Suga is bowing out as prime minister of Japan, amid increasing anger over his governments handling
Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga Is Resigning. Here’s What That Means #WorldNEWS
Yoshihide Suga is bowing out as prime minister of Japan, amid increasing anger over his governments handling of COVID-19 in the wake of the Tokyo Olympics. He announced Friday that he will not seek re-election as leader of the Liberal Democrat Party (LDP) at the end of September.
Suga, 72, became prime minister just one year ago after long-serving Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stepped down over health concerns. He said during a party meeting Friday on that he wanted to focus on the coronavirus pandemic instead of continuing on as the head of the LDP.
With a general election upcoming in the fall, Sugas resignation paves the way for a new leader of the worlds third-largest economy.
Heres what to know about Sugas resignation and what it means for Japan.
Why is Suga stepping aside after just a year in office?
Sugas popularity has plummeted over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic; Japan is currently battling its largest wave of the virus since the pandemic began.
Suga’s insincere and ambiguous comments and actions on containing the pandemic every single day have made Japanese citizens very frustrated, says Yoshikazu Kato, a research fellow at the Rakuten Securities Economic Research Institute in Tokyo. The public nowadays basically does not trust the government at all.
Suga hoped the Olympics would help boost his popularity, but despite a record medal count for Japan, his ratings sank even lower. The number of COVID-19 cases has surged to all-time highs in recent weeks in Japan, due to the more contagious Delta variant. The Japanese public, angry over Sugas decision to hold the international event in the midst of a pandemic, has increasingly ignored government pleas to stay at home. Support for the Prime Minister was below 30% in both July and August, according to polls by local media.
Suga has long been under pressure due to criticism of his coronavirus response and a host of other issues, says Kristi Govella, the Deputy Director of the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. But the ground really shifted over the last couple of weeks and his support from within the party eroded quickly.
Experts say that LDP members began to worry that having Suga as party leader could cost them seats in the general election, which must be held before the end of November. My guess is that he was persuaded to step aside, says Jeff Kingston, the Director of Asian Studies at Temple University Japan.
Who will be Japan’s next prime minister?
Eugene Hoshiko–Pool/Getty ImagesFumio Kishida, a frontrunner to win the Liberal Democratic Partys (LDP) leadership election and become Japans next prime minister, is pictured on Sept.
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