Advertisement

Japan's Yoshihide Suga pledges support for Shinzo Abe's policies

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga expressed support for the policies of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who recently resigned, citing health issues. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga expressed support for the policies of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who recently resigned, citing health issues. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga pledged to continue the policies of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a forum of candidates for the leadership position.

Suga, who is favored to succeed Abe, said Tuesday he seeks the digitalization of the administration to combat COVID-19 and that he supports "stable relations" with countries like China, the Nikkei and Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

Advertisement

Suga reportedly has about 70% of the support of ruling party politicians. He said he would "create a cabinet that works for the Japanese people." Prior to his resignation, Abe's approval rating plummeted as coronavirus infections spread across the country. Japan has reported more than 71,000 confirmed cases.

The Japanese politician, who has dismissed claims he would be running an interim government until September 2021, also said he would be committed to resolving the "abduction problem" with North Korea.

RELATED Japan's Supreme Court endorses exclusion of pro-North Korea schools

Suga had said last week he would meet Kim Jong Un without preconditions. North Korea has yet to respond to any Japanese offers of talks.

Suga is expressing support for continuing Abe's North Korea policy at a time when the North is berating Japan's military.

Advertisement

North Korean propaganda service Meari stated Tuesday the U.S.-Japan alliance is becoming "more dangerous" and that the "military collusion" between the two countries is "strengthening more than ever, raising concerns from within and without." Meari may have been referring to recent drills in the East China Sea and near Hokkaido in August, when U.S. and Japanese troops conducted multiple joint exercises.

RELATED Japan, South Korea nuclear envoys agree to cooperate on North Korea

Japan's relations with South Korea deteriorated under Abe, following Tokyo's decision to apply export restrictions that would hurt South Korean firms. The move came after a South Korean court ordered the seizure of South Korea-based Japanese assets of companies like Nippon Steel to compensate wartime laborers.

South Korean and Japanese journalists held a virtual forum on Tuesday to assess the situation, South Korean news service Newsis reported Tuesday.

Tokyo Shimbun editorial writer Yoji Komi said better efforts on both sides could improve relations. He also said Japanese policy toward Seoul will not change significantly, according to the report.

RELATED Japan's Supreme Court endorses exclusion of pro-North Korea schools

Latest Headlines