First it was the Unification Church scandal; then there was the controversy surrounding the state funeral for Shinzo Abe. As if Prime Minister Fumio Kishida did not have enough sapping his political capital, we can now add nepotism to the list.
Last week, Kishida appointed his eldest son, Shotaro, as an executive secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office. Naturally, this prompted backlash as opposition parties decried the obvious preferential treatment. When questioned about it in parliament, Kishida dismissed the claims of nepotism, contending that the appointment was based on ensuring the right person was in the right job. Obviously that argument is falling on deaf ears, and it will likely contribute to Kishida’s ongoing woes.
In response to this appointment, there are likely many questions: Why would Kishida make this move, especially when his public opinion is already tanking? Is this sort of appointment unusual in Japanese politics? What will this mean for Kishida going forward?