All national papers reported on Sunday that Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga released on Saturday a package of policy goals that he will strive to achieve if he is elected as LDP president in the Sept. 15 election. Yomiuri said he is set to continue the Abe administration’s policies. He reportedly promised that the U.S.-Japan alliance would be the cornerstone of his administration’s foreign and security policy and that he would try to establish stable relationships with China and other regional neighbors. In an interview with Sankei published on Sunday, Suga commented on the possibility of Chinese leader Xi visiting Japan as a state guest. “We are currently giving top priority to dealing with the coronavirus outbreak,” he was quoted as saying: “I think we need to be cautious about starting the process of arranging his visit.” On the domestic front, Suga pledged to promote digital government, combat bureaucratic compartmentalization, and make telemedicine and remote learning permanent.
Nikkei said there is little difference between Suga and his two rivals—former Foreign Minister Kishida and former LDP Secretary General Ishiba— in terms of foreign and security policies, noting that all of them regard the U.S.-Japan alliance as the cornerstone of Japan’s foreign policy. The business daily also said the fact that the three candidates’ approaches toward Beijing are very similar shows that Japan will not be able to reduce its economic dependence on China despite the escalating tension between the U.S. and China.