Prime Minister Kishida’s lack of understanding of the essence of crisis management”… “Prime Minister Kishida’s laxity” revealed by the year-end party at his official residence. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Prime Minister Kishida’s lack of understanding of the essence of crisis management”… “Prime Minister Kishida’s laxity” revealed by the year-end party at his official residence.

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Prime Minister Kishida was gaining momentum after his visit to Korea and the G7 summit. …… (Photo: Takeshi Kinugawa)

In the June 16-23 issue of FRIDAY, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (65) was photographed attending a “year-end party” with his relatives held at the prime minister’s official residence.

On the morning of June 2, he told the assembled reporters

On the morning of June 2, he told assembled reporters, “I did not act inappropriately in a public space.”

On social networking sites, he was criticized for his “power not to listen” and “mixing his public and private life.

Prime Minister Kishida was highly praised for his diplomatic skills at the G7 Hiroshima Summit, where he invited President Zelensky to attend, but this incident has blown it all out of the water. One never knows what will happen in Nagata-cho, but in the Kishida administration, the unexpected often happens, for better or worse. The news of this year-end party may be the catalyst for a major shift in the direction of his resignation, using the summit as a springboard.”

A veteran member of the LDP’s Seiwa-kai (Seiwa Party) in the House of Councillors expressed this caution.

In 2010, the Kishida administration had an approval rating below 30%, which is considered a “danger zone. Following the success of the Hiroshima G7 summit and a certain improvement in relations between Japan and South Korea, the Cabinet’s approval rating in a May poll had been rising.

However, the Shukan Bunshun (Weekly Bunshun) report of his eldest son, Shotaro (32), who was secretary to the prime minister, and other relatives playing “cabinet games” and lying on the steps of the official residence caused a sharp drop in support, and a TV Tokyo and Nikkei poll released on May 28 showed a 5-point drop to 47% in the “support” category.

Despite initially defending Shoutarō, on May 30 he effectively removed him from his post as secretary to the prime minister and announced that he would not receive a year-end bonus or retirement allowance, attracting further criticism for his ad hoc response.

Prime Minister Kishida often speaks of his “private living space” at press conferences and in his speeches, but it is his official residence, not his home. The prime minister’s official residence is located next to the prime minister’s residence so that he can rush to it immediately in the event of an emergency. There is no problem in inviting relatives during peacetime, but it is only an official space. Looking back on the prime minister’s remarks, it is clear that he was overly excited, but he was just having dinner with his relatives, and I think he does not understand the true nature of crisis management.

Tadayo Tanabe, 53, a member of the House of Councillors from the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, who pursued this issue at a meeting of the Budget Committee of the House of Councillors, complained.

If support for the summit continues to plummet at this rate, the “summit flower path theory” will grow louder. Relations with the New Komeito Party remain strained over the coordination of Tokyo’s electoral districts, and trouble is brewing over the my number card, a key policy issue for the Kishida administration’s “Digital Rural City” initiative.

The opposition parties are expected to pursue the issue until the end of the Diet session on March 21, and there is little prospect of a recovery in support. Although both parties, the Liberal Democratic Party and the Public Sector Party, are quarreling, they have agreed to maintain the coalition, saying, ‘We will not let this affect anyone other than Tokyo. It is thought that by cutting Shoutarou, who was the Achilles heel of the coalition, they have a free hand to dissolve the coalition. When asked by reporters about the dissolution, he immediately denied it. ……” (LDP House of Councilors member mentioned above)

When a summit is held in Japan, a major political upheaval is bound to occur.

This is what is said in Nagata-cho. The idea is that Japan can boost its approval rating through its record as the host country of the summit, and then dissolve the summit at any time.

In July 1993, the Tokyo Summit was held. In July 1993, Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa announced his resignation, and in August 1993, the Hosokawa coalition government was formed, resulting in a change of government.
In July 2000, the Okinawa Summit was held, and in April, Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi suffered a stroke and did not return home, giving birth to the Yoshiro Mori Cabinet.
In July 2008, the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit was held, and Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda abruptly stepped down in September, giving birth to Taro Aso’s cabinet.

However, there have been summits where no political upheaval occurred. At the most recent Ise-Shima Summit in May 2016, no political change occurred. The Abe administration used the results of the summit as the basis for an overwhelming victory in the Upper House election, with the Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito party winning more than two-thirds of the upper house seats, making the government a solid force in power.

The following year, however, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike launched the “Party of Hope” and created a whirlwind of controversy. If it had not been for her “exclusionary remarks,” it is believed that the Abe administration might have been deposed after a crushing defeat at the hands of the autocrats.

There is a history of major political upheaval when summits are held in Japan in the past. The Kishida administration has suffered or been saved in a thousand ways by unexpected events. Which way will things turn in 2023, when the summit is held in Hiroshima?

↓↓The full picture can be seen in FRIDAY GOLD.

Prime Minister Kishida is pictured with a total of 18 people, including family members, at the family’s year-end party held at his official residence. Shoutarou is also in the back row. The full scene will be reported in detail in the June 2 issue of “FRIDAY.
The “summit manjuu” that Prime Minister Kishida handed out to his supporters at a political fundraiser (courtesy of Tadayo Tanabe’s office).
  • Interview and text by Daisuke Iwasaki Daisuke Iwasaki Photo Takeshi Kinugawa

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