‘Dynastic politics’: Japan’s Kishida accused of nepotism for appointing his son executive secretary

Fumio Kishida, the prime minister of Japan, is under fire for allegedly engaging in nepotism when he appointed his young son executive secretary. Some opponents believe that this appointment may have been made to allow the young Kishida to succeed his father in the legislative elections.

Shotaro Kishida, 31, was chosen for the job on Tuesday, according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, who told a news conference he was chosen for his “personality and understanding”. Matsuno said the motivation for authorities had been “the idea of ​​putting the right person in the right place”.

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The prime minister’s eldest son, Shotaro, had been working as a secretary in his father’s office since March 2020. Previously, he was employed by trading firm Mitsui & Co.


Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, left, with his eldest son Shotaro, center, and his wife Yuko. Photo credits: Bloomberg

Kishida became prime minister exactly one year ago on Tuesday. Her popularity waned after a reasonably good first few months in office, as she approached 60% of the population.

Support for Kishida has been weakened following revelations about the number of members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) with ties to the Unification Church.

However, his insistence on holding the lavish and expensive memorial service for Abe, who was shot at an LDP rally in July, had the most influence on his rapidly declining support ratings.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s decision to name his son comes just a week after the government held an unpopular state funeral for Shinzo Abe. Photo: Kyōdo

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is facing accusations of nepotism after appointing his inexperienced son as executive secretary, a move some critics say could pave the way for young Kishida to inherit his father’s parliamentary seat.

Shotaro Kishida, 31, was nominated on Tuesday, with Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno telling a press conference that he had been selected for his “personality and insight”. Matsuno insisted that those responsible had been driven by “the idea of ​​putting the right person in the right place”.

Shotaro, the prime minister’s eldest son, had been a secretary in his father’s office since March 2020. He previously worked for trading house Mitsui & Co.

“Bringing in your own son is quite unusual because usually these positions are filled by experienced bureaucrats from ministries,” said Hiromi Murakami, professor of political science at Temple University’s Tokyo campus.

“And the timing of the announcement, right after Abe’s memorial service, is pretty bad. It’s weird that he didn’t realize it didn’t look right or that no one told him. suggested that,” she added.

The leader of the opposition People’s Democratic Party, Yuichiro Tamaki, immediately criticized the action and accused the prime minister of “showing favoritism towards those close to him”.

Social media posts criticizing Kishida’s waning popularity and accusing him of nepotism have been less restrained, and some have even called for a law banning “hereditary politics”.

“Legacy politics once again? Please end these hereditary appointments. It only encourages corruption. One tweet read: ‘I want a law against hereditary politics.



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