The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research


The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research



Souvenirs Purchased by PM’s Son Common Practice, Notes Kato

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has come under scrutiny over his son’s sightseeing and shopping while on official duty. Shotaro, one of Kishida’s executive secretaries, had accompanied his father on a visit to five countries in January and reportedly purchased souvenirs that were given by the prime minister to members of his cabinet.

This became an issue only because of blood ties between Kishida and his secretary, Research Director Sota Kato told the Straits Times. “Politicians buy souvenirs when they travel overseas,” he said. “In many cases, the secretary would be tasked with buying the souvenirs, although there are times when the diplomatic mission would do so instead.”

The real issue, Kato noted, was whether the actions of Kishida’s son transgressed socially acceptable norms. “In the absolute strictest sense, buying personal souvenirs using an official car would be a mix of work and private matters,” he said. “But like in the corporate world, . . . such actions can be permitted” if they are within the informal consensus shared by many.

“When Work, Private Life Mix: Japan PM Kishida Criticised over Son’s Shopping Trip on Official Duty,” Straits Times

Profile of Research Director Sota Kato



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