All national dailies reported extensively on Yoshihide Suga’s remarks after being elected LDP president on Monday. At a news conference, he said he will move forward with deregulation and put an end to sectionalism in government agencies, vested interests, and the practice of blindly following past precedents.
Among his reform plans, Suga stressed the need for government digitization by saying his goal is to allow people to receive government services 24 hours a day and 7 days a week as long as they have My Number cards. He also expressed eagerness to reorganize the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, reduce mobile phone charges, and consolidate regional banks. “Many of the policies that have failed to advance smoothly involve multiple government offices,” said Suga. The papers said this remark seemed to indicate a reorganization of the Health Ministry, which has been criticized for delays in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.
Regarding the lineup of the new cabinet, Yomiuri speculated that Foreign Minister Motegi and Olympics Minister Hashimoto will remain in their current posts. Speculating that Suga’s ability to maintain Prime Minister Abe’s performance in handling foreign affairs and security issues will be tested, Asahi pointed out that although the Japanese prime minister usually visits the United States to attend the UN General Assembly and meet with foreign leaders in late September, it will be difficult for Suga to develop relations with foreign leaders because opportunities to meet them in person will be limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic.