Yoshihide Suga

Climate & Environment
Japan wants to discharge one million tonnes of contaminated Fukushima water into the sea
IAEA Experts at Fukushima
IAEA Experts at Fukushima Credit: IAEA Imagebank (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Japan will discharge over one million tonnes of treated water from the Fukushima disaster reactor into the sea. Head of government Yoshihide Suga announced this decision to dispose of the water on Tuesday. The plans have already sparked protests from environmentalists, fishermen and farmers in the region, as well as concern in Beijing and Seoul. Dumping the water is expected to take years.

Regional News • Asia • Japan
Japan appoints a "Minister for Loneliness" to tackle increase in suicides

Tetsushi Sakamoto was appointed "Minister for Loneliness" by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga earlier in February after Japan saw the first rise in suicides in 11 years in 2020. 20,919 people committed suicide in Japan in 2020, 750 more than in 2019. A department will further investigate the impact of the "many kinds of loneliness".

Regional News • Asia • Japan
Japan considers 1-month long state of emergency for Tokyo area

Japan is considering declaring a state of emergency as numbers of Coronavirus cases rise. It would apply to Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures of Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa. In his new year's speech, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga already hinted at measures to keep the virus from spreading. Japan reported 4520 new cases on December 31st and 3158 on January 3rd.

Climate & Environment
Japan aims for zero emissions by 2050
Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga
Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga Credit: 内閣官房内閣広報室 (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Japan will aim to become carbon-neutral by 2050, said Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in his first policy speech since taking office in September. The country emitted 1.24 billion metric tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2018.

Environmental groups have criticized Japan in the past for its slow progress in cutting emissions. This new commitment was commented by Greenpeace as "precisely the kind of action the world needs" while cautioning that it must be met by the policy.

Regional News • Asia • Japan
Yoshihide Suga elected by the Liberal Democratic Party to succeed Shinzo Abe
Yoshihide Suga
Yoshihide Suga Credit: 内閣官房内閣広報室 (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Yoshihide Suga, chief cabinet secretary of Shinzo Abe administration, was voted to be the leade of the Liberal Democratic Party, the governing party of Japan. Suga is considered to be a close ally of Abe.

There will be another vote Wednesday in parliament, where Suga is almost certain to be made prime minister because of his party majority.

Taking over mid-term, Mr Suga is expected to finish the rest of the current period, until elections in September 2021.