Can-Do Attitude Took Yoshihide Suga From Strawberry Fields to Japan’s Pinnacle

Can-Do Attitude Took Yoshihide Suga From Strawberry Fields to Japan’s Pinnacle

  • The nation’s likely next leader established a reputation for getting things done self-effacingly, without making enemies

YUZAWA, Japan—In his first campaign, Yoshihide Suga was a little-known candidate from a remote village in northern Japan, trying to get on the city council in big-city Yokohama. “I started from zero, with no family connections or connections to the place,” he said.

What he did have was doggedness. After visiting 30,000 houses while wearing out six pairs of shoes, as a colleague later recalled, Mr. Suga won the seat. More than three decades later, the son of a strawberry farmer and a teacher is poised to become prime minister…