Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi Deemed “Unfit” in Becoming Prime Minister | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi Deemed “Unfit” in Becoming Prime Minister

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Foreign Minister Hayashi, No. 2 of the Kishida Faction

The LDP’s Kochikai is chaired by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (64). It is a well-known story in Nagatacho that its No. 2, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi (61), has been longing for the “prime minister’s chair” for some time.

Hayashi won a “bloody battle” with the Kawamura family in Yamaguchi’s 3rd district in the last Lower House election. He switched from the House of Councillors to the House of Representatives. Furthermore, the sudden death of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who had tremendous influence in his hometown of Yamaguchi, will no doubt increase Hayashi’s presence. However, even so, “Hayashi faces a number of hurdles to becoming prime minister,” according to an LDP insider.

(1) Popularity

In order to become prime minister, Hayashi must win the LDP presidency. Without popularity within the party, he would be out of the running. However, “Mr. Hayashi cannot be said to be popular,” says a young LDP member.

“He has a habit of looking down on people he considers ‘less capable than himself,’ and it shows in his attitude. He is not very popular among his own people.”

His reputation among the political reporters of the major media is not good either.

“Minister Hayashi is calm both on and off the record,” said one journalist. “He rarely engages in evening interviews. He is defensive, or perhaps it could be said that he lacks the spirit of service.”

(2) A Sense of Competition

Last year, Hayashi became a member of the House of Representatives, a prerequisite for becoming prime minister. However, he actually had a chance as far back as 2012. Hayashi’s name was mentioned as a possible opponent to Hideo Hiraoka, 68, minister of justice, in Yamaguchi’s 2nd district. But a local supporter lamented.

“ I said, ‘Mr. Hayashi, let’s do it!” But he refused, saying, ‘I don’t want to fight in a war where there is even a chance that I might lose.’ I was disappointed.”

It is true that the Democratic Party of Japan was in power at the time. But Nobuo Kishi (63, current Defense Minister), who ran in Hayashi’s place, was elected to the House of Representatives ahead of Hayashi. The next lower house election may be a battle for control of the House of Representatives, but many LDP members are concerned about whether Hayashi, who has no “competitive instincts,” will be able to compete.


(3) Female Relationships

It is still fresh in our minds that Hayashi was reported in Shukan Bunshun (Weekly Bunshun) in 2018 to be a “sexy yoga” practitioner.

“Hayashi prefers a slender, young-looking woman. He says that black hair is best. At one time, the media all sent young female reporters to Hayashi’s office to get information from him.”

Some local supporters have expressed concern, saying, “I hope he hasn’t found his second sexy yoga studio.” 

“‘Mr. Hayashi had a long night,’ said one person from within the Metropolitan Police Department, which is in charge of protecting him. He doesn’t tell us where he goes and what he does, even when he is accompanied by an SP. It seems that he often goes to restaurants where women are present. The hours are so long, and the field seems to be exhausted.”

A phone in the chest pocket is unpopular

The last thing I would like to mention is Mr. Hayashi’s fashion.

He wears aggressively pastel shirts, suits, and ties, and in a way stands out among the foreign ministers of various countries, but he does not stand out in a way that is flattering.

Controversially, he carries his smartphone in the breast pocket of his suit. He puts it in his pocket with the camera lens facing the other person. It must be a point of particular concern, because he refuses to fix it no matter how many times his secretary advises him to do so.

Some people jokingly quipped, “Mr. Hayashi is pro-China, so the Chinese might send our image to them.”

If you want to be the prime minister, it is important to be well-groomed and caring.

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