Top Contender for Post-Kishida Era, Toshimitsu Motegi, Caught Pouting Boldly During Parliamentary Session | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Top Contender for Post-Kishida Era, Toshimitsu Motegi, Caught Pouting Boldly During Parliamentary Session

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Mr. Mogi sleeps during a plenary session at the end of January. A graduate of the University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Economics and a graduate of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business, Mogi is a brilliant man, but he is also known to have a temper.

At the end of January, Mr. Motegi sleeps during the main meeting. He is considered a genius who graduated from the University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Economics and completed graduate school at Harvard University, but he is also known for his impatient side.

During Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s (66) policy speech, Secretary-General Toshimitsu Motegi (68) crosses his arms and looks down with a stern expression. Unable to lift his face for over 30 minutes, he appears troubled, perhaps pondering whether there’s a clever strategy to boost the plummeting approval ratings of the administration. A photographer from FRIDAY, concerned about Motegi’s prolonged downward gaze, was met with laughter from a national newspaper political department reporter who remarked, “He’s just dozing off, isn’t he?”.

“With influential figures like Yuko Obuchi, head of her own faction (50), and Masakazu Sekiguchi, president of the House of Councillors (70), leaving one after another, it’s no wonder he’s constantly stressed. Since late January, when he made remarks urging senior members of the Abe faction to consider their sense of responsibility, he may have been met with disapproval, which could be causing his pouting behavior.”

To add insult to injury, on February 12th, “Bunshun Online” reported suspicions that in the 2021 House of Representatives election, expenses were double-counted. Toshimitsu Motegi, who was considered one of the most likely successors to Kishida and didn’t hide his ambitions, now sees a yellow warning light on the path to fulfilling his long-cherished goal.

“If things continue like this, there’s no chance of re-election in the leadership election, so Prime Minister Kishida may opt for an early dissolution and general election. In that case, another round of internal party appointments would occur, and Mr. Motegi would likely be removed from his position as Secretary-General.

Even without a dissolution, Motegi’s term as Secretary-General lasts until September. To maintain his influence, Motegi has no choice but to run and win in the leadership election. However, even if he gathers endorsements, it’s unclear whether he can carry out majority factional maneuvers.” (Journalist Tetsuo Suzuki)

Perhaps Motegi himself is in a state of good fortune comes to those who wait.

Awakened, Mr. Motegi vigorously rubbed his face with a towel, perhaps to shake off drowsiness.
A previously unpublished photo: Secretary-General Toshimitsu Motegi, considered the most likely successor to Kishida, boldly indulges in a pout during a parliamentary session.

From the March1-8, 2024 issue of FRIDAY


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