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Japan after Abe

Still doing situps: Japan's PM starts first day with old ritual

Over breakfast at hotel, Suga exchanges views with election consultant

New Japanese leader Yoshihide Suga starts the day with his customary 40-minute walk, this time around the grounds of the prime minister's official residence.

TOKYO -- Yoshihide Suga stuck to his long-established routine on his first morning as Japan's new prime minister on Thursday: brisk exercise followed by breakfast and discussion with a private-sector expert.

Suga arrived at the prime minister's office a little before 7 a.m. and took a 40-minute walk within the compound -- part of the workout he has maintained for many years, along with 100 situps each morning and night.

This was followed by breakfast at a hotel here with election consultant and political public relations strategist Hiroshi Miura, with whom Suga spoke for about an hour.

During his tenure as chief cabinet secretary, Suga customarily ate breakfast, lunch and dinner with people from the political and business spheres to hear a range of opinions beyond the Kasumigaseki bureaucratic bubble.

The new prime minister is emphasizing views from the private sector as he pursues his reform agenda. Suga notes "things that are strange and out of sync with the public's common sense still remain in the government," he told reporters Wednesday night.

"I need to recognize them, listen to voices on the ground to determine what makes sense and then take bold action. That's my belief," he said.

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