During a visit to Dubai for the COP28 climate summit, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida spotlighted Japan's decarbonization efforts while urging Middle East leaders to cooperate in order to calm the situation in the Gaza Strip amid Israel's war with Hamas militants.

But the efforts to highlight his diplomatic skills at a time when his Cabinet approval rate has dipped to fresh lows don't appear to have paid off.

The trip was largely overshadowed by political fund scandals inside Kishida's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, including news of suspected slush funds related to the sales of fundraising party tickets by the LDP faction once headed by late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.