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Interview

Abe's right-hand man wants a Japan less reliant on China

Chief cabinet secretary sees pandemic exposing limits of sectionalized bureaucracy

Yoshihide Suga is a leading candidate to succeed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.(Photo by Kaori Yuzawa)

TOKYO -- The coronavirus pandemic has taught Japan a crucial lesson on the perils of relying too much on China for key supplies from masks to car parts, says Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

That is why the country earmarked more than 240 billion yen ($2.2 billion) in an emergency economic package this month to assist domestic companies in moving production back home or diversifying production bases into Southeast Asia.

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