When Fumio Kishida became Japan’s 100th prime minister in October, he had something in common with many postwar Japanese leaders, but little with one who was assassinated a century ago.

In addition to being a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, which has ruled almost continuously since its formation in 1955, Kishida’s father and grandfather are among a long line of political relatives, leading commentators to ponder the wisdom of a nation seemingly obsessed with political dynasties.

“The Japanese are surprisingly fond of hereditary succession,” says political analyst Atsuo Ito during a radio interview, adding that one-third of the LDP’s candidates in the October Lower House elections were hereditary legislators, compared to around 5% in both chambers of the U.S. Congress.