Sunk by not stopping the spread of the covid, Suga will resign so that his formation designates another candidate for the October elections
The days when prime ministers did not last more than a year return to Japan. Without even reaching that time, Yoshihide Suga resigned yesterday harassed by criticism of the spread of the coronavirus coinciding with the celebration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Due to the strong social rejection of these events, what should have been a success for the Japanese government has become the main weapon for the weak opposition.
As reported by public television NHK, Suga announced that he will not attend the internal vote to re-elect him as president of his party on September 29, one day before his term expires. After its withdrawal, the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD) will have to appoint another leader to stand in the general elections scheduled for October. Among the candidates, former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Sanae Takaichi, former Minister of the Interior and Communications, have already run.
“In an extraordinary meeting with the leadership, Prime Minister Suga has said that he will not attend the internal election because he would like to focus on measures against covid-19,” advanced the secretary general of the PLD, Toshihiro Nikai, according to CNN . Minutes later, Suga himself confirmed his decision to reporters.
About 20,000 infections
With his popularity sunk by the expansion of the coronavirus, which records record numbers of more than 20,000 cases daily, Suga is forced to leave office without having served a year in power. After the retirement due to illness of his predecessor, Shinzo Abe, Suga won the internal vote of his party and on September 16 last year he was confirmed as prime minister by the Diet (Japanese Parliament). At 72, he has tried to revitalize Japan’s ailing economy amid the serious crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
With borders closed since the beginning of the year, 21 of Japan’s 47 prefectures are currently under a state of emergency, the fourth already in Tokyo. Its restrictions, such as the closure of restaurants at eight in the afternoon and the prohibition of serving alcohol, have forced the temporary closure of many establishments. During the Olympic Games, this correspondent was able to verify this in the famous Ginza Corridor in Tokyo, now deserted. To this economic impact is added the tension that the health system is already suffering from the rebound of the coronavirus, especially in Tokyo, where the Government wants to ensure 7,000 beds for covid-19 patients.
In the midst of this health and economic emergency, the celebration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games has further unnerved Japanese public opinion, even though they have been behind closed doors and do not seem to be behind the explosion of infections that Japan suffers. But not even the good organization nor the pride revived by the good role of the Japanese Olympic team have saved Suga, who is also seen as too old to lead the government.
In fact, the Tokyo Stock Exchange has risen after knowing his intention to resign and the promise of one of the PLD candidates, Fumio Kishida, to inject billions into the economy to recover it from the coronavirus if he wins the internal vote on September 29 and can stand for general elections. By law, these must be celebrated before, on October 21, the term of the House of Representatives expires.