Kishida’s Appointment of Son as Executive Secretary Was Poorly Timed, Kato Tells Straits Times
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s approval ratings have been plummeting, falling below 30% in two recent polls, due largely to the unpopular state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the lingering fallout over the Unification Church.
Adding fuel to the fire has been Kishida’s appointment of his son, Shotaro, as his executive secretary. “Given the extraordinary rate of hereditary succession in Japanese politics, it is quite normal to have a son as a public secretary,” Research Director Sota Kato told the Straits Times. But the timing could not have been worse. “I think he misread the mood in the media and public opinion in giving his eldest son a conspicuous role at this point in time.”
The Tokyo Olympics bribery scandal has ensnared several corporate leaders in Japan and has also become a stain on the government, Kato said. The next major test for the prime minister will likely be the unified local elections in April 2023, with a bad showing forcing Kishida to call a snap election.
“Japan PM Kishida’s vaunted ‘ability to listen’ returns to haunt him as approval sags,” Straits Times
Profile of Research Director Sota Kato
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