Japan's New PM Suga Launches Cabinet, Pledges Reforms

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 16 (Jiji Press)--Japan's new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga launched his cabinet on Wednesday, vowing to make utmost efforts to speed up regulatory reforms as a centerpiece of his policies.

At his inaugural press conference, held at the prime minister's office, Suga said that his cabinet will "work for the people," adding, "I will put regulatory reform at the very center of my cabinet."

Earlier on Wednesday, Suga was elected to the top government post at an extraordinary session of the Diet, the country's parliament. Attestation ceremonies for Suga, 71, and his cabinet ministers from his ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito, were held at the Imperial Palace on the day.

The country saw the first change of prime minister in seven years and nine months. Suga succeeded Shinzo Abe, who stepped down due to ill health after holding the post of prime minister since late December 2012. Suga is effectively the first Japanese prime minister under an LDP-led government who does not belong to an intraparty faction and is not from a political family.

"In the country, there still are things that are out of touch with the sense of people," Suga told the press conference, referring, for example, to mobile phone fees in Japan that are thought to be among the highest in the world. "I will not leave them unattended, but will decisively take (necessary reform) measures while hearing the voices of people on the ground," he said, stressing the need to destroy vertically segmented administrative systems and break with the policy of sticking to precedents.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press