TOKYO (Reuters): Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s son will resign as his aide, the premier said on Monday, after photos of the son and other relatives apparently pretending to hold a news conference at the official residence sparked an uproar.
Kishida told reporters that Shotaro Kishida would step down as his secretary from Thursday, saying the change was due to “inappropriate” behaviour at the official residence.
A weekly magazine last week published photos of the younger Kishida and relatives apparently pretending to hold a news conference at the podium where the prime minister usually stands.
“His behaviour at a public space was inappropriate as someone who is in an official position as political aide. I’ve decided to replace him for accountability,” Kishida said.
The revelations come at an inopportune time for Kishida, who had gained a boost in popularity with the recent Group of Seven (G7) summit in Hiroshima, and were widely criticised by the opposition.
Seiji Osaka, a senior lawmaker with Japan’s largest opposition party, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, said the dismissal should have come earlier, according to Kyodo news agency.
“This is too late. I suspect (Kishida) appointed someone who is not capable (of being the) prime minister’s aide to the post,” Osaka was quoted as saying.