Japanese prime ministers have notoriously short shelf-lives — and often briefer legacies.

At first blush, Yoshihide Suga, who left office last October after just 384 days in power, might seem to be another in a long list of flash-in-the-pan Japanese leaders.

But as the distance from his premiership grows and the pandemic that felled him moves to a new phase, there’s increasing recognition here for Suga’s accomplishments. While his time was overshadowed by the Olympic Games and COVID-19, his legacy is surprisingly formidable in a country where politics often moves at a glacial pace.