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Wed Sep 16, 2020, 01:15 AM

Japan's Ruthless New PM Is a Control Freak Who Muzzled the Press [View all]

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is being replaced by his right-hand man, a politician so ruthless his nickname refers to one of the most brutal military rulers in Japanese history.
Jake Adelstein Daily Beast
Updated Sep. 15, 2020 5:13AM ET / Published Sep. 14, 2020 1:48PM ET

TOKYOóThe right-hand man of Japanís longest-reigning Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, who orchestrated the administrationís control of the press and helped cover up the corruption scandals that forced Abe to resign, is set to be the next prime minister.

Yoshihide Suga was crowned the president of Japanís ruling party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), on Monday in an election that had been pre-decided in back-room deals. The LDP controls the lower house of Japanís parliament and so their president will become the new prime minister. The Japanese press, who Suga has successfully tamed, did their best to spin his ascension as a story of a simple hard-working boy from a rural prefecture who worked his way to the top. But the real Suga is no country bumpkin. He is an information junkie, a control freak, loyal to his boss to a fault, ruthless, vindictive, and never forgets a favor or a slight. In a way, he shares many of the qualities that would make him an ideal number two in any yakuza organization in Japan; indeed, his past ties to the yakuza may come to haunt him as he takes power.



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