Yoshihide Suga is the Japanese Gordon Brown

‘Analytical intelligence, absolutely. Emotional intelligence, zero’. That was Tony Blair’s withering assessment of his successor Gordon Brown. It is a description which could as easily be applied to Japan’s beleaguered prime minister Yoshihide Suga. The former chief cabinet secretary, long-time right-hand man and ‘brain’ of long serving PM Shinzo Abe is showing alarming Brownite tendencies in his handling of the media and political relationships. Amid plummeting poll ratings the rumour is that he’ll be lucky to make it to his first anniversary in power. Like Gordon Brown, Suga took over as PM from a three-time election winner. The unexciting Shinzo Abe was no ‘Bambi’ Blair – though they had spouses who

Japan’s cherry blossom scandal has tainted Shinzo Abe’s legacy

Japan may have avoided being locked down this winter, but is its longest serving PM Shinzo Abe about to be locked up? That is the alarming prospect that faces Abe as he struggles to explain his role, and that of his advisors, in a scandal that has beset him in and out of office for over two years. The allegation is that events organised for Abe’s constituents and assorted followers, including cherry blossom viewing parties, held between 2016 and 2018, were subsidised by his support group to the tune of around of around 30 million yen (£210,000 pounds). The undeclared payments, it is claimed, were in contravention of election law.