Yoshihide Suga, who has retained his post as Japan’s longest-serving chief Cabinet secretary, serves as an anchor in the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Suga, 68, was given the top spokesman role when the Liberal Democratic Party returned to power under Abe in December 2012 and has since spent more than 1,600 days in the post.
Tasked with explaining policies in plain terms and defending the government in the face of media scrutiny, he has been kept busy this year by a string of scandals involving the administration.
Hailing from Akita Prefecture in northeastern Japan, Suga lacks the extensive family connections to national politics boasted by many of his peers in the LDP.
He worked as a secretary for a lawmaker for 11 years and served in the Yokohama city assembly before his election to the House of Representatives in 1996.
Suga served as internal affairs and communications minister during Abe’s first turn at power from 2006 to 2007.