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Japan after Abe

Longtime allies of Japan's Suga open up about PM front-runner

Mentor's son and campaign manager note hard work and attention to detail

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga is the front-runner in Monday's LDP leadership race. (Photo by Kento Awashima)

TOKYO -- As Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga emerges as the leading candidate to succeed Shinzo Abe as prime minister, two politicians who have known him for decades paint a picture of a detail-minded thinker devoted to his work -- to the point of wearing his shoes out from door-knocking.

Hiroshi Kajiyama is the son of Suga's mentor, Seiroku Kajiyama, who served as secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party and chief cabinet secretary in the 1990s and who Suga backed in an unsuccessful bid for LDP leadership in 1998.

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