Yoshihide Suga, the 71-years-old Japanese Leader who as the Chief Secretary spent nearly eight years as the right-hand man to former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Suga prepares to take the country’s top job in an all-but-guaranteed parliamentary vote on Wednesday, he will need to capitalise on his political deal-making skills and his inside knowledge of Japan’s complex bureaucracy to help him address the country’s formidable challenges, writes “Al Jazeera”.

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi tweeted to congratulate the newly appointed Japanese Prime Minister. He said, “I would like to congratulate you on your appointment as Prime Minister of Japan. I hope that you and your Excellency will bring the Indo-Japan Special Strategic Global Partnership to a higher level.”

The 71-year-old son of a strawberry farmer, Suga is set to take over the leadership at a time when Japan’s economy – after years of stagnation and already struggling with the long-term effects of the world’s most elderly population – has been dealt a body blow by COVID-19.

Japan, the world’s third-largest economy shrank a record 27.8 percent from April to June this year compared with the previous quarter due to pandemic-related lockdowns that were only relaxed in late May.

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