Health Minister Norihisa Tamura said last week he hoped Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine would be approved in mid-February, making it the first in the country. "There are no strong candidates to replace him. Chances are the current government will drag on despite very weak public support, which would be quite tragic," he said. The outspoken reformer named by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to lead a massive vaccine rollout pledged to work quickly on inoculations as the country nears approval of Pfizer Inc.’s shot for the coronavirus. Logistical challenges have bedeviled Japan’s government throughout the pandemic. Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga says stable currency moves are 'extremely important' Published Thu, Nov 5 2020 10:12 PM EST Share Share Article via Facebook Share Article via Twitter … In a written statement, Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga promised that the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympics games would be held this summer regardless of the pandemic.Suga described the games as being “a symbol of world unity,” and promised that this year’s games would be “safe and secure.” (RELATED: REPORT: Russia Can’t Use Its Name, Anthem Or Flag At The Next 2 Olympics) Kono, named to the vaccine post late Monday, has been seen as a potential rival to Suga as premier. Yoshihide Suga has cultivated an image as a self-made man -- his motto is 'Where there's a will, there's a way.' His background is in sharp contrast to the man he will succeed as prime minister in an extraordinary Diet session on Wednesday. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Sunday congratulated Democrat Joe Biden on his election as the next U.S. president, expressing a desire to bolster bilateral ties. TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday that his government is working on the final details of a plan to release massive amounts of radioactive water being stored at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, a decision that has been delayed by protests. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, left, sits during a meeting with Vietnam's National Assembly's Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan in Hanoi, Vietnam, Monhday, Oct. 19, 2020. Opinion polls show the public is strongly against holding the Games amid the pandemic. The poll conducted by telephone on the weekend showed 80 per cent of respondents thought the government was too slow to declare a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus outbreak which has swept the country since December. He assumed the charge on 16 September 2016, after former Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, resigned on health grounds. Kono has in the past publicly stated his desire to hold the top job. Trouble-free rollouts of such programs in Asian neighbors such as South Korea and Singapore have clouded the government’s response. Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. TOKYO -- Yoshihide Suga was elected as the new head of Japan’s ruling party on Monday, all but assuring that he will become the country's new prime minister when a … Support for Yoshihide Suga plunges as his travel policy is blamed in part for rise in infections Justin McCurry in Tokyo Yoshihide Suga’s honeymoon period as … TOKYO - Is the writing already on the wall for Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga after only four months in office? He has a long political history and was previously the Chief Cabinet Secretary under Abe. Tokyo: A surge in coronavirus cases in Japan has dealt a blow to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s once strong public support, raising the risk he gets replaced by the ruling party ahead of an election that must be held by October. Pfizer to Deliver U.S. Japan virus outbreaks, scandals sap public support for Suga. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga vowed in a speech to parliament to overcome the latest wave of coronavirus infections and laid out environmental and … Suga is struggling to halt a steady decline in support for his four-month-old government even after launching a raft of measures to contain a third wave of coronavirus infections with the Olympics due to begin on Jul 23. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara) In a speech opening a new Parliament session, Suga said his government would revise laws to make anti-virus measures enforceable with penalties and compensation. Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. plans to start local clinical trials of Novavax Inc.’s candidate on Feb. 20, according to a regulatory filing, while the Japanese drugmaker is also set to start trials for Moderna Inc.’s shot this week. Kono said on a BS-TBS TV show before the news conference that he would be responsible for coordinating among various ministries and 1,700 local authorities that will ultimately administer the doses. When Suga became prime minister in September, he named Kono to an administrative reform post in his cabinet rather than one of the traditional high-profile jobs, initially raising suspicions he was trying to sideline a potential rival. The outspoken reformer named by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to lead a massive vaccine rollout pledged to work quickly on inoculations … Most Japanese people either think they will … TOKYO (AP) — IOC President Thomas Bach and local organizers are pushing back against reports that the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be canceled. It took months to fully distribute a one-time cash handout meant to tide households over last spring, while the distribution of two face masks to all households met with widespread derision due to the time and money involved. The reform drive has become one of Suga’s signature issues, with Kono helping to lead a high-profile effort to scrap traditions such as stamping paper documents and widespread use of fax machines to boost efficiency in the public sector. Concern growing over new variant first identified in the U.K. Japan stepping up vaccine process as Suga’s popularity slumps. "Experts indicate that it is necessary to look at the situation a little more to determine that it is a decreasing trend," he told parliament. Concern is also growing over the new variant first identified in the U.K., with Japan’s Health Ministry saying Tuesday community transmission of the strain may now be ongoing in the country after finding the mutation for the first time among people with no recent travel history. Critics also say Suga took too long to pause a domestic tourism campaign that some experts have blamed for contributing to the spread of the virus beyond the initial hotspots in the Tokyo region. Japan aims to eliminate gasoline-powered vehicles in about 15 years, the government said Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in a plan to achieve Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s ambitious pledge to go carbon free by 2050 and generate nearly $2 trillion growth in green business and investment. meREWARDS lets you get coupon deals, and earn cashback when you complete surveys, dine, travel and shop with our partners. READ: Caught off-guard by scant testing, Japan battered by COVID-19 winter, READ: Japan stands firm on Tokyo Olympics schedule, denies report of cancellation, BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus outbreak and its developments. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said holding the delayed Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer would be a sign of "victory against the coronavirus." This is a story from the archives, published in the Jan. 27, 2019, edition of The Nikkei. Copyright© Mediacorp 2021. Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak: https://cna.asia/telegram. Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said the government would not end the emergency even if cases in Tokyo dropped below 500 a day. Nihon University political science professor Tomoaki Iwai said Suga was "not a great communicator" but his leadership was not currently in doubt. Yoshihide Suga formally announcing his bid. The Asahi poll came after opposition lawmakers criticised the brevity of Suga's answers to questions on the government's response to the COVID-19 crisis and the Olympics during a parliamentary debate on Thursday. Suga said that despite the fall in cases in Tokyo the government was in no rush to lift the state of emergency. Abe, the scion of a political dynasty, was groomed for office from a young age. But Japan has also had vastly fewer deaths from Covid-19 than many other developed nations, and had about the same number of recorded infections in the past year than the U.S. has tallied on certain days in January. Japan will be one of the slowest leading economies to start inoculations and has taken a more cautious approach than the likes of the U.S. and the U.K., which have already begun vaccinations. FILE - In this Oct. 12, 2020, file photo, streaks of lights from cars pass through a business district in Tokyo. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga delivers a policy speech at the opening of the Lower House parliamentary session in Tokyo, Japan, Jan 18, … Taro Kono, a former defense minister, told a news conference Tuesday he will do everything he can to get as many people as possible inoculated when Japan looks to start vaccinations in late February. Suga currently serves as president of the Liberal Democratic Party. Japan has had a total of 365,723 cases of the novel coronavirus and 5,120 deaths, NHK reported. Yoshihito Niki, an infectious disease specialist and professor at Showa University Hospital, agreed the government should have halted the campaign earlier. Suga enjoyed some of the highest approval ratings on record for a new prime minister in September, when the ruling Liberal Democratic Party installed him as its … "It is clear that was problematic, not just because it may have contributed to rise in case numbers by people travelling around the country, but also by giving young people an impression that they could lower their guard," he said. Support for Suga's cabinet dropped to 33 per cent from 39 per cent last month, with disapproval rising 10 points to 45 per cent, according to a poll published by the Asahi newspaper on Monday. Infection data released over the weekend indicated that Japan's third, and most deadly, wave of COVID-19 infections was peaking. Tick-Tock-Tick. Suga is standing by the government's commitment to host the Summer Games despite a report in The Times last week saying officials in Tokyo had abandoned hope of holding the event this year. The government says its decision to stick with the domestic tourism campaign was appropriate based on infection data at the time. Analysts say Suga, the top government spokesman, is all but assured of getting the role, and by default, becoming Japan’s next prime minister. "To get over it with an abstract, really short answer is the same as rejecting to explain it to the people," Mainichi quoted opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker Tetsuro Fukuyama as saying last week. Tokyo recorded 986 new cases on Sunday, falling below 1,000 for the first time since Jan. 12. TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga faced renewed pressure on Monday (Jan 25) over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with a new opinion poll showing many believed the government was too slow to respond to the latest wave of infections. Yoshihide Suga Becomes Japan's Prime Minister, Pledging To Follow Abe's Course The former chief Cabinet secretary and government spokesman was sworn in … He suggested he could enlist the help of the private logistics sector, and didn’t deny he might seek to involve the Self-Defense Forces or volunteers. — With assistance by Isabel Reynolds, and Lisa Du. Opposition lawmakers were also increasingly frustrated with Suga's taciturn leadership style, demanding he provide detailed answers to questions about the COVID-19 crisis and the Tokyo Olympics set to start in less than six months. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga delivers a policy speech during an ordinary Diet session at the upper house of parliament in Tokyo, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. Analysts seem to think so. TOKYO -- Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will zero in on green and digital technology under new economic plans as the nation tries to balance spurring growth and containing the coronavirus outbreak. This service is not intended for persons residing in the EU. Have a confidential tip for our reporters? Yoshihide Suga. GameStop’s Volatile Rally Smashes Wall Street Price Targets, Merck Shuts Down Covid Vaccine Program After Lackluster Data, GameStop Short-Sellers Reload Bets After $6 Billion Loss, It Seems Money Does Buy Happiness After All, Tech Leads Stock Gains Ahead of Megacap Earnings: Markets Wrap. Kono is facing a public more skeptical of vaccines than in many nations and is charged with leading a campaign set to be a defining moment for Suga, whose support has fallen hard due to what many see as mistakes in virus management. As Suga’s popularity has slumped, Kono was voted the most suitable person to be the next prime minister in a Mainichi poll on Jan. 16. The countdown clock for the postponed Tokyo Olympics hit 200 days to go on Monday. Nationwide the count was 3,990, below 4,000 for the first time since Jan 4, public broadcaster NHK said. Now set to open July 23, the Tokyo Games were postponed 10 months ago at the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, and … Yoshihide Suga is the current Prime Minister of Japan. Osaka prefecture also reported the lowest number of new cases since that date. By clicking subscribe, I agree to receive news updates and promotional material from Mediacorp and Mediacorp's partners. TOKYO -- Yoshihide Suga's day begins by reading all major newspapers and then doing 100 situps. The record 5.34 trillion yen ($51.7 billion) defense budget planned for fiscal 2021 is the first under Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and is a 1.1% increase over the current year’s budget. An Upper House steering committee petitioned Suga's office to provide more thorough responses during future debates, according to the Mainichi and Asahi newspapers. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga delivers a policy speech during an ordinary Diet session at the upper house of parliament in Tokyo, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. Mediacorp Pte Ltd. All rights reserved. Vaccine Doses Faster Than Expected: CEO, U.S. States Ease Covid Restrictions as Variants Take Hold, EU Vaccine Spat Worsens; France Wants Second Doses: Virus Update, France Won’t Delay Second Covid Vaccine Dose, Citing Risks From New Variants. Also Read - Yoshihide Suga Elected Japan’s New Prime Minister Succeeding Shinzo Abe, ... 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