On September 14, in the election of the new president of the Liberal Democratic Party, Yoshihide Suga won 70.6% of the votes and became the current president of the Liberal Democratic Party. No suspense, Yoshihide Suga will officially become the new prime minister of Japan in the interim parliament tomorrow (because Japan implements a parliamentary cabinet system and the leader of the ruling party becomes the head of government).
Japan’s political power and quasi-hereditary colors are very strong. Yoshihide Suga was born in a small village in Akita Prefecture in northern Japan, and now he is at the pinnacle of power, which is beyond the expectation of most people. However, we are more concerned: Why did the son of the former railway staff member of the Puppet Manchuria win the prime minister? How will he handle relations with China?
01 It is a miracle in Japan that the farmer’s son becomes prime minister
Although Japan is engaged in a democratically elected system, the political arena is actually monopolized by aristocratic families, and it can even be regarded as hereditary. The safest and most convenient way to become a politician is to be born in a family of high-ranking officials.
Japan has always had five major political families (Hatoyama family, Koizumi family, Abe family, Aso family and Fukuda family). For example, now Abe, his grandfather Nobuko Kiki and grandfather’s uncle Eisaku Sato have served as prime ministers. According to the Nikkei, after Kiichi Miyazawa in 1991, all Liberal Democratic Party presidents except Yoshiro Mori had a father who was a member of the House of Representatives. It is very difficult for non-hereditary parliamentarians to get ahead.
For example, in Gunma Prefecture, Japan, the three major congressmen families (Fukuda, Obuchi, and Nakasone) have been elected for many years, and the least have dominated the political arena for almost 40 years. Therefore, the son of a farmer who became the prime minister of Japan can be described as difficult to rise to the sky.
Japanese anime “Detective Ke”South” has broken this point. However, Yoshihide Suga did it. In 1948, he was born in a small village in Akita Prefecture in northern Japan. During World War II, his father was sent to the Puppet Manchukuo in Northeast China as a railway clerk. After Japan’s defeat in World War II, his father returned to his hometown to grow strawberries.
At the end of August this year, Shinzo Abe suddenly resigned as prime minister. The Japanese Prime Minister’s campaign will start early. The first to jump out were Fumio Kishida, chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party’s political investigation, and former secretary general Ishibashige. These two people are completely the roots of the roots: Fumio Kishida’s father Fumio Kishida was the head of the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Agency and was elected to the House of Representatives many times. The cousin is Yoichi Miyazawa, the former Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan. In 1987, Fumio Kishida entered politics as his father’s secretary and was elected to the House of Representatives for the first time in 1993. Shigeru Ishiba’s father is Jiro Ishiba, the former governor of Tottori Prefecture (equivalent to our governor). In 1986, he inherited his father’s business and inherited his father’s constituency. He was elected to the House of Representatives earlier than Shinzo Abe and Fumio Kishida. Now he has been re-elected for 10 terms.
But people are not as good as heaven, and a ruthless character appeared near the election day: Yoshihide Suga.
Kishida and Ishipa, two of them, suddenly became escort.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Liberal Democratic Party decided to adopt an emergency election. Only 394 Liberal Democratic Party members of Congress and 141 representatives of local branch associations were elected by a total of 535 votes. The conventional election method is voted by 394 members of Congress and 394 party members and party members. Therefore, in this emergency election method, the number of votes of members of Congress is very important!
In other words, as long as more than half of the votes of these 535 people are won, the election will be determined. These 535 people belong to different factions, so whoever can get the support of the faction can win the prime minister. This approach seems to be more beneficial to Kishida and Ishiba, because they came from a family of wealthy families and have deep roots in Japanese politics.
But in fact, among the 7 major factions within the Liberal Democratic Party, apart from Fumio Kishida’s Kishida faction (47 people) and Shigeru Ishiba’s Ishiba faction (19 people), the other 5 factions have a total of 284 members before the election. Early on, he clearly expressed his support for Yoshihide Suga. Judging from the results of the election, the grassroots SugaWei defeated Kishida and Ishiba, the princes of the family with no blood.
02 “As long as you work hard, you can aspire to be prime minister”
In an earlier campaign speech, Yoshihide Suga once said, “I started almost from scratch. I just went to Beijing more than 50 years ago. I should not be able to imagine who I am today. For ordinary people like me, as long as I work hard, Aspire to become prime minister.”
What he said “Going to Beijing” was actually going to Tokyo. Yoshihide Suga is the eldest son of the family, and his father has always expected him to inherit his father’s inheritance, just as Ishiba’s father let him inherit his father’s inheritance as a councillor. However, if Yoshihide Suga inherited his father’s business, he could only grow strawberries at home. But this farmer’s son has had extraordinary tolerance and ambition since he was a child. He didn’t want to be a farmer at all. After graduating from high school, Yoshihide Suga got on the train and decided to go to Tokyo and become a “Dream Chaser”.
Reality is far more cruel than dreams. When he first arrived in Tokyo, a country boy was helpless. After graduating from high school, Yoshihide Suga could only work in a carton factory. Facing a mountain of waste paper boxes, dust flying all over the sky, endless manual labor day by day. Yoshihide Suga didn’t want to live his life like this at all, it was just a temporary place to stay. With the idea of changing fate again, he works part-time during the day and reviews at night. Two years later, he was finally admitted to Hosei University.
The reason for choosing Hosei University, he has his own considerations: First, Hosei University was the cheapest private university at that time, and the other is that the curriculum of Hosei University is more relaxed, and you can still study part-time after entering university. . Relying on part-time income from sourcing goods at the Tsukiji Market in Tokyo, Suga Yoshihide completed four years of university.
After graduating from college, he joined a power company to work, became a white-collar worker, and took the first step in a class jump. Is always shining gold. A few years later, under the introduction of the dean of Hosei University, Yoshihide Suga became the secretary of the then House of Representatives Ozaki Hikosaburo.
He has been with Senator Xiao Zemu for 11 years, and he is the youngest among the seven secretaries, and he works hard. Later, after Senator Ozaki was promoted to the Minister of International Trade and Industry, Suga Yoshihide was promoted to his secretary. Yoshihide Suga’s down-to-earth character has gained more and more appreciation from the Liberal Democratic Party. In 1987, he decided to run for the Yokohama City Councillor. In order to canvass votes, I visited 300 stores a day.
In Japanese politics, although there is no explicit stipulation, it is an invisible iron law to discuss seniority. Before becoming a parliamentarian, no matter what your resume and experience you have, it doesn’t count. As long as you become a member of parliament when you are young, the more elections thereafter, the more preferred. This system is very strong.
In 1996, Yoshihide Suga officially entered the House of Representatives and became a member of the House of Representatives. He was 47 years old at this time. In contrast, Junichiro Koizumi’s son Shinjiro Koizumi was elected to the House of Representatives at the age of 28. The difference between the two is nearly 20 years old: it is not that Shinjiro Koizumi is exceptionally good, but that he has a good father. In fact, in which country, children from poor backgrounds have to make extra efforts to succeed.
03 Faithful or unfaithful?
In Japanese politics, loyalty has always been regarded as a rare advantage. In the age of samurai, samurai must be loyal to their master. In modern times, politicians must be loyal to their factions. But Yoshihide Suga is most criticized for his lack of loyalty. During the election campaign, Yoshihide Suga repeatedly stated that he does not belong to any faction, but why can he be appreciated by many bigwigs in the party?
Actually, Yoshihide Suga does not never stand in line, but he falls wherever the wind blows. When he entered politics in early 1996, he joined the Liberal Democratic Party’s largest faction Hashimoto faction. However, in the 1998 Liberal Democratic Party’s presidential election, he did not support his faction candidate Keizo Obuchi, and instead supported the Takeshita faction candidate Kajiyama. Jing six. He didn’t play the cards according to the routine, knowing he couldn’t get along with the faction, so he had to withdraw from the group to protect his safety and switched to the Kato faction.
In 2000, the Liberal Democratic Party broke out in internal strife, known as the “Kato Rebellion” in history. Some members of the Liberal Democratic Party’s “Kato faction” representative, Kato Koichi, initiated a case of no confidence in the then Yoshiro Mori government, and the precarious Mori cabinet was on the verge of stepping down. Yoshihide Suga also joined Koichi Kato’s team, but the Kato plan failed. Yoshihide Suga joins the team of Gokato.
In the political career of Yoshihide Suga’s Liberal Democratic Party, he has successively joined the Hashimoto faction, Kato faction, Horiuchi faction, Koga faction, etc. Therefore, many people criticized him for lacking loyalty to factions and being a political migratory bird. If there is no family to rely on, it is necessary to be more smooth, or to see the wind as the rudder, it is also a last resort. But it was also because he was free from family and factional constraints, he could find his way from side to side among various factions and accumulate contacts.
In 2006, Yoshihide Suga broke away from the Koga school and supported Abe. Of course, Yoshihide Suga relied on more ability to do things on his own. When Abe first formed a cabinet in 2006, Yoshihide Suga assumed the post of Minister of General Affairs. During this period, he did something for Abe that Junichiro Koizumi wanted to do but did not finish: to promote postal privatization.
Japan’s postal system has always been the place where political and economic conflicts are most concentrated. There are 24,700 post offices nationwide, with nearly 280,000 employees, and these employees belong to the state official businessThere are even 20,000 special post offices, and senior leaders still implement a quasi-hereditary system. The post office, as a large ticket warehouse for Liberal Democratic Party members, has been regarded as a restricted area in Japanese politics since 1970. Members are afraid that the post cake will be affected and their votes will be affected.
However, the postal system relies on its special status, does not think aggressively, and has poor performance throughout the year, which has become a heavy burden to the government. Therefore, the privatization reform started from the Koizumi government, but there was no substantial progress. The Abe era also regarded postal privatization as a top priority, and specially arranged Yoshihide Suga as minister of postal privatization.
Yoshihide Suga did not disappoint, actively promoting Japan Post’s IPO and launching the stock market was seen as an important step in postal privatization. It is precisely this way, after Abe came to power for the second time in 2012, Yoshihide Suga was appointed Chief Cabinet Secretary. The Chief Cabinet Secretary is regarded as the “second-in-command” of the Japanese government, and he can also act as the prime minister when he cannot exercise his duties for more than 5 days. During his tenure as Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga never revealed his ambition to compete with the Prime Minister, instead he only wanted to be Abe’s assistant. Yoshihide Suga has been in the position of Chief Cabinet Secretary for more than 2,800 days, becoming the longest Chief Cabinet Secretary in Japanese history.
Yomiuri Shimbun’s Deputy Director of the Editorial Department, Goro Hashimoto, called him the best chief cabinet officer in his nearly 50-year political interviewing career. No one can beat government departments, crisis management capabilities, and noble personality. It is precisely because of the close and stable relationship between the Prime Minister and the Chief Cabinet Secretary that the strong Abe situation in the Liberal Democratic Party can last so long.
04 Maybe, it’s not the Youhua faction
Forbearance, sleekness, etc., can all be used as the label of Yoshihide Suga. But most importantly, in order to achieve the goal, he will work quietly. On April 1, 2016, at a regular press conference on April Fools’ Day, when the reporter asked if Yoshihide Suga made a joke because it was April Fools’ Day, Yoshihide Suga replied: I am a very stable person. There is no sense of humor, and only answers questions down-to-earth. And as an official chief, he will not lie or make irrelevant jokes.
So, after Yoshihide Suga takes office, what kind of foreign policy will he adopt towards China?What about the delivery policy? His two sisters were born in northeast China. But at present, Yoshihide Suga’s attitude is generally not friendly enough on issues such as the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands, the Yasukuni Shrine visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, and Taiwan and Hong Kong, which are more sensitive between China and Japan. When the Taiwan independence element Lee Teng-hui passed away, Yoshihide Suga went to express his condolences as the chief cabinet secretary of Japan.
Under the two-strong structure of the United States and China, Japan will stand in the United States. In an interview with reporters, Yoshihide Suga reiterated that “Japan-US relations are the basic main axis of Japan’s diplomacy.” On the basis of maintaining Japan-US relations, he should strengthen relations with China and other neighboring countries.
Including the Japanese industrial chain, he said, “The necessities of national life must depend on the supply chain of a specific country to be adjusted.” The “specific country” here actually refers to China. Yoshihide Suga also confirmed that he was one of the decision makers in Japan’s promotion of production base transfer subsidies (attracting the return of Japanese companies).
Although, Yoshihide Suga only served as Abe for the remaining one-year term. But this 72-year-old Japanese who became prime minister should not be underestimated.