- Diplomacy The Return of Japan: The Pacifist Country Becoming a Military Power
Japan has always been a country with numerous political dynasties. For example, Shinzo Abe, the longest-serving leader, was the grandson of a former prime minister and the son of a prominent deputy. Abe's own right-hand man, Taro Aso, also had a prime minister's grandfather. And the current boss of the world's third-largest economy, Fumio Kishida, is the son and grandson of well-known lawmakers from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
So it came as no major surprise when Kishida last year placed his 32-year-old son Shotaro as secretary within his cabinet, in an advisory role. A career lawyer, Shotaro had previously worked at the trading firm Mitsui & Co. But the time had come for his father to prepare him to one day follow in his footsteps in Japan's political elite. A career that has lasted very little.
A few days ago, the Japanese magazine 'Shukan Bunshun' published some photos in which Kishida's son and other relatives were celebrating a New Year's Eve party at the official residence of the prime minister. Shotaro and his guests posed in the room where the press conference is held or on stairs carpeted in red.
Those photos were taken on December 30, coinciding with an internal crisis in Kishida's cabinet after the resignation of four ministers who were tainted by several corruption scandals. In addition, it was not the first controversy starring Shotaro. A few months ago he was reprimanded by opposition parties for using his official position for private activities, namely for using embassy cars for sightseeing in London and Paris.
After several days with photos of the party all over the Japanese press, Kishida announced earlier in the week that his son would resign as his assistant. That is, it has forced him to resign from his position after having hired him. "His behavior in a public space was inappropriate as someone holding an official position as a political adviser. I have decided to replace him with responsibility," the prime minister told Kyodo news agency.
"Of course, the responsibility lies with me. I take it seriously. I want to fulfill my duties by addressing urgent challenges and moving forward with determination," continued the leader, who was coming off a good run, with his popularity rising, after hosting the G7 summit and emerging unscathed from an attack.
Kishida's approval ratings rose to 50%, according to Kyodo News, after visiting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kiev and holding two meetings with his South Korean counterpart Yoon Suk Yeol, one in Seoul and one in Tokyo, where both leaders achieved a historic rapprochement between two traditionally opposed neighbors.
The other parties in Parliament have not wasted the scandal and have charged against the leader. "The appointment itself had a strong element of mixing public and private interests. Resignation is a natural matter," said Kenta Izumi, leader of Japan's Constitutional Democratic Party, Japan's largest opposition party.
Both in the local press and on social networks (where some users have mocked that the son of the leader has lost his job for "having parties at Daddy's house") it was also not amused that photos of Shotaro's party were made public in a public building of almost a century old that was formerly the office of the prime minister. until in 2005 it became the official residence.
According to the criteria of The Trust Project