China News Service, September 16 (Zhang Aolin) On the afternoon of September 16, local time, Japan held an interim parliament for the election of prime ministers by name. The new Liberal Democratic Party President Yoshihide Suga was elected as the 99th Prime Minister of Japan.

  After Abe resigned due to illness, Yoshihide Suga was elected with the support of multiple factions in the party.

But the real challenge, after he took over Abe's baton, has just begun.

There are still too many unknowns on the path of this "Uncle Linghe" as the prime minister.

Data map: Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

One of the unknowns: Is there a way to control the epidemic?

  The number one test question that Yoshihide Suga faced after taking office was whether he could control the new crown epidemic.

At present, the epidemic situation in Japan is still not optimistic. Not only has the cumulative number of confirmed cases exceeded 76,000, but it is still spreading rapidly with an increase of hundreds of cases every day.

  "I believe that Yoshihide Suga will lead Japan to overcome the epidemic." On September 14, Abe expressed his hope that Yoshihide Suga will do something to control the epidemic in his speech after Yoshihide Suga was elected as the president of the Democratic Party.

  However, Lu Yaodong, director of the Diplomatic Research Office of the Institute of Japanese Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, analyzed in an interview with that Abe had implemented a national emergency, but after receiving partial opposition, he stopped. The courage to continue to implement the state of emergency".

At the same time, he said that Yoshihide Suga’s response to the epidemic “it is difficult to propose new solutions for the time being.”

Data map: On August 31, local time, the torch of the Tokyo Olympics was publicly displayed at the Olympic Museum in Japan. Starting from September 1, the torch will be exhibited here for two months.

  Unknown Number Two: Are the Tokyo Olympics still open?

  Another big problem facing Yoshihide Suga is the Tokyo Olympics.

Previously, the Tokyo Olympics had been postponed to July 2021 due to the epidemic. Although Yoshihide Suga made it clear that he would “go all-out to achieve the holding of next year’s conference”, but the global epidemic has not yet improved. The outlook is not clear.

  In this regard, Zhou Yongsheng, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs University, believes that Yoshihide Suga will definitely strive for the success of the Olympic Games, because Japan has invested a lot of time and funds, "if it is not held, it will be completely lost."

  However, Zhou Yongsheng and Lu Yaodong both pointed out that in order to successfully host the Olympics, the epidemic must be controlled first.

As for how much Suga Yoshihide can play in it, Lu Yaodong believes that "There is not much time left for Suga Yoshihide, and the space is also large. It is very difficult to make a difference in the Olympics."

Data map: Japanese people pass through the intersection in front of Shibuya Station.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Lu Shaowei

  The third unknown: Can economic recovery work?

  If the epidemic and the Olympics are two obvious problems, then whether the Japanese economy can be pulled out of the quagmire of deep recession or it will directly determine how far this "Suga regime" can go.

  Although Yoshihide Suga said that he would inherit "Abenomics" and emphasized the promotion of local economic development and the improvement of the welfare system to boost the Japanese economy.

However, Lu Yaodong believes that Yoshihide Suga is merely a continuation of Abe's policies and cannot propose more new measures for the time being, so it is difficult to get the Japanese economy out of the slump.

  Unknown Number Four: Can the "Japan-US Alliance" be maintained?

  Domestic affairs are difficult, and diplomacy is not easy.

Japan-US relations, which are extremely important to Japan, have long been susceptible to gaps.

Not only did the frequent crimes around the US military bases in Japan make the local people miserable, US President Trump also asked Japan to pay four times higher military expenditures than it is now, which made Japan feel like a throat.

  In this regard, Lu Yaodong pointedly pointed out that although Yoshihide Suga would bargain over the cost of US military bases in Japan, there was no room to fight back.

  At present, Yoshihide Suga has made it clear that he will "take Japan-US relations as the basic axis" to handle relations with other countries.

Zhou Yongsheng believes that this means that Yoshihide Suga will continue to follow Abe's line to strengthen the Japan-US alliance and consider the policies of other countries on this premise.

  Lu Yaodong said that Yoshihide Suga only needs to stick to the Japan-US alliance without any problems, and there will be no bigger moves.

On the afternoon of September 16, local time, Japan convened an interim parliament to elect the prime minister by name.

(Image source: screenshot of NHK live broadcast)

  Unknown Number Five: Is the diplomatic deadlock likely to exist for a long time?

  Japan-US relations are not the only diplomatic problem that the "Suga regime" will face.

  The dispute between Japan and South Korea triggered by historical issues and trade disputes is still deadlocked.

Yoshihide Suga took a tough stance on this, saying that he "will fully respond to (South Korea) violations of international law."

Zhou Yongsheng said that if Yoshihide Suga continues Abe's line, the relationship between Japan and South Korea will not change during his tenure, and the impasse between Japan and South Korea may exist for a long time.

  Equally thorny is the issue of the disputed islands between Japan and Russia (the South Kuril Islands in Russia and the Four Northern Islands in Japan).

Yoshihide Suga himself has stated that he "will work hard to solve this problem on the basis of determining the ownership of the island."

Zhou Yongsheng predicts that Yoshihide Suga will inherit Abe's policies, which also means that he "will not make any significant progress" on this issue.

  Lu Yaodong believes that in the face of the diplomatic dilemma, the Yoshihide Suga government will "focus on one hand and light on the other, and pay more attention to internal affairs."

Zhou Yongsheng analyzed that compared with Abe, Yoshihide Suga’s personal charisma is slightly inferior, and may not be as flexible as Abe in handling diplomatic issues. Look forward to it."

Data map: In April 2019, the then Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide announced the new year's name as "Reiwa".

  Unknown Number Six: The bench is not hot yet, and the general election is about to happen again?

  In early September, Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso released news one after another, stating that the new prime minister may quickly dissolve the House of Representatives after taking office.

According to Japan's political system, this means that Japan will hold a national election ahead of schedule to elect a new parliament.

  At present, the Liberal Democratic Party occupies a clear advantage in the Japanese parliament. Why should it "risk" to hold a general election?

  Zhou Yongsheng stated that one of the important prerequisites is that the current popularity of the Liberal Democratic Party is so high that the opposition parties cannot compete with it. Lu Yaodong also believes that under the current situation, the Liberal Democratic Party cannot be replaced in the general election.

  On the other hand, since Yoshihide Suga’s ruling effect is unknown, if he is delayed until next year’s general election, his approval rate may be affected, and the current general election is more favorable to his long-term governance.

On the afternoon of September 16, local time, Japan convened an interim parliament to elect the prime minister by name.

(Image source: screenshot of NHK live broadcast)

  Unknown Seven: Japan's political stability period or will it end?

  After the end of Junichiro Koizumi's regime in 2006, there was a chaotic period of "five years and six phases" in Japanese politics.

However, after Abe’s second greeting in 2012, the Liberal Democratic Party gradually emerged "Abe strong." At the same time, thanks to the disintegration of the largest opposition party, the Democratic Party, the Japanese political arena has gradually stabilized in the past eight years.

  However, due to the faction struggle of the Liberal Democratic Party for a long time, and Yoshihide Suga does not belong to any of the seven major factions of the party, according to Japanese media analysis, Yoshihide Suga’s coming to power may return Japanese politics to the old way of factional disputes. .

  In this regard, Zhou Yongsheng said that if Yoshihide Suga, who does not have much roots in the Liberal Democratic Party, is replaced by various factions a year later, "then Japan is likely to return to the situation of frequent changes."

  On the whole, Yoshihide Suga's full continuation of the Abe policy is almost a foregone conclusion.

In fact, Yoshihide Suga's success in the presidential election was largely due to the Liberal Democratic Party's desire to protect Abe's political heritage to the greatest extent and achieve a smooth transition of power.

  Lu Yaodong also pointed out that "the Yoshihide Suga regime's caretaker government has a strong color, and it is actually a short-term transitional government."

Japanese media even pointed out that whether the "Suga Yoshihide characteristics" can be embodied in the "post-Abe era" is the biggest problem for the current regime.