Yoshihide Suga, Chief Cabinet Secretary
Friday, July 11, 2014, 14:00 - 15:00
The government's top government spokesman has a lot on his plate: Japan's new defense policy and the right to collective self-defense; North Korea's abductions of Japanese nationals and recent missile launch; Tokyo's territorial rows with Beijing and Seoul and of course Abenomics. Yoshihide Suga's job is to explain them all to a skeptical world.
But Suga who helped engineer Shinzo Abe's comeback as prime minister in 2012 is widely considered a safe pair of hand in the sometimes controversial Abe government.
Born to a farmer in Akita Prefecture in northeastern Japan, Suga, 65, graduated from Hosei University in Tokyo. He was secretary to House of Representatives member Hikosaburo Okonogi of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) for 11 years.
After serving as a Yokohama city assembly member, he was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1996 and is now in his sixth term, representing Kanagawa Prefecture's No. 2 electoral district.
Suga was credited with helping Abe's victory in the LDP presidential election in 2006 and was subsequently named minister of internal affairs and communications in Abe's first Cabinet. He later served as the LDP's acting secretary general. He was appointed to his current post with the launch of Abe's latest Cabinet in 2012.
He will come to the club fully prepared to respond to questions from club members, as he has done almost every working day since then.