Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida arrives for a meeting at his office in Tokyo, Japan, 25 May 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/Shuji Kajiyama/POOL

Japanese prime minister sacks son as secretary after controversy

Tokyo, May 29 (EFE).- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Monday that he would ask his son to step down as his executive secretary after a controversy over the latter partying with family members and taking photos at Kishida’s official residence.

Shotaro Kishida, the eldest son of the conservative PM, will quit his position after a barrage of criticism triggered by the controversial episode, which comes on the back of other controversial actions that put the young official in the spotlight.

On Monday, the prime minister himself told reporters that he had asked his son to take responsibility for his inappropriate behavior

Last week, several local media outlets published a series of photos in which Shotaro posed along with family members and friends at Kishida’s official residence, apparently during a party held there.

Opposition parties and social media users expressed outrage on the use of the official premises for personal and festive use, resulting in the government announcing that the PM’s son had been reprimanded internally.

However, this failed to assuage the popular sentiment against Kishida’s son and the government, which has fared poorly in opinion polls in recent times, although registering a slight improvement in ratings after the recent G7 summit held in Hiroshima between May 19-21.

Shotaro Kishida had already attracted negative coverage in the beginning of the year after Japanese media reported that he had used official vehicles for personal use – such as shopping or tourism – during his father’s diplomatic visits to the United States, France and the United Kingdom

The junior Kishida had been the prime minister’s executive secretary since October.

In Japan, where political dynasties are common, it is not unusual for young members of a leader’s family to begin their political career through such roles. EFE