One of them is a seasoned public communicator, as comfortable debating with his Davos counterparts in English as he is explaining the potential side-effects of coronavirus vaccines. The other is Japan’s prime minister.

Just as Yoshihide Suga is facing a pivotal moment in his prime ministership, he is finding himself being eclipsed by Cabinet member Taro Kono, an outspoken politician appointed three weeks ago to lead an imminent vaccine rollout.

Polls show Kono is already voters’ favorite for prime minister, an ominous sign for Suga ahead of a party leadership vote in September that will determine whether he stays on or joins the long roster of short-lived leaders.