Just over a year since he took office, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s leadership style has become a study in contrasts. Praised early on as being decisive on some issues, lately he has been heavily criticized for moving slowly to replace scandal-tainted ministers.

With three Cabinet members having resigned over the past month, and another, reconstruction minister Kenya Akiba, embroiled in a political funding scandal that could force him out, there are now concerns about a further domino effect. On top of his low popularity ratings, Kishida now heads into the end of the year with worries mounting about his ability to exercise firm and consistent leadership over his Cabinet.

“I accept my responsibility for the appointment” of Minoru Terada, who submitted his resignation as internal affairs minister Sunday night, Kishida told reporters Monday. Former Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto is replacing Terada.