Asia St: What’s Next for Japan’s Politics After Suga?

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What’s Next for Japan’s Politics After Suga?

September 3, 2021

The BGA Japan team, led by Managing Director Kiyoaki Aburaki, penned a client update following the announcement by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga that he would not run for his party’s next election. The update examined the context for his decision as well as what this would mean for leadership changes in Japan and for businesses in the coming months.

Context

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons).

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced on September 3 that he will not run for the presidential election of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). This will lead to a change in the nation’s leader because the president of the ruling party customarily assumes the premiership in Japan.

Suga’s resignation was a likely scenario, which he eventually chose due to a decline in support from his LDP colleagues. This made his candidacy unviable in the LDP presidential election scheduled for September 29.

Significance

Suga’s resignation will turn public attention toward the upcoming party election as well-known figures are expected to run as candidates for the LDP presidency. Using this race to garner the public’s attention would be a favorable scenario for the LDP.

A new prime minister would mean the dissolution of the Diet in early or mid-October, followed by a general election. In upcoming polls, the LDP would likely ride the wave of energy generated in anticipation of the new prime minister’s plans.

Implications

Businesses can expect more concrete outcomes from the strengthened party leadership. Stronger and better publicly supported political leadership under this new government may create a more conducive environment for policymaking.

There are several policy areas for companies to watch for potential advancement. These include measures to fight Covid-19, emphasis on digital transformation, carbon neutrality and green growth, strong U.S.-Japan relations and Japan’s national economic security.

BGA will continue to keep you updated on developments in Japan as they occur. If you have any comments or questions, please contact BGA Japan Managing Director Kiyoaki Aburaki at kaburaki@bowergroupasia.com.