Japan’s Prime Minister sacks 3rd minister in a month
The present Japanese government is under fire for some scandalous disclosures. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has sacked his Internal Affairs Minister Minoru Terada who was indicted for several accounting and funding irregularities. In one, he also acknowledged that one of his support groups submitted accounting records carrying a dead person’s signature.
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has sacked his internal affairs minister over funding irregularities in a blow to his scandal-prone Cabinet, the third in a row in the last one month. The Internal Affairs Minister, Minoru Terada was forced to resign over financial irregularities that have inflicted serious damage to the reputation of the Kishida government.
Prime Minister Kishida apologized to the nation for appointing such tainted persons in his cabinet, who were subsequently forced to resign On Monday, Kishida pledged to regain public trust. “I will fulfil my responsibility by pursuing important policies that are piling up,” he said and pledged to ensure clarity on the issue of money and politics.
Takeaki Matsumoto, a former foreign minister, has been appointed as Terada’s replacement
Terada, who has been interrogated for the scandal for over a month, claimed he never break any law and promised to come out with truth with regard to the accounting issues. However, opposition lawmakers said funding problems for the internal affairs minister, one of whose jobs is to oversee political funds, are serious and so his resignation was warranted. His credibility was already in stake and since the resignation came late, it has placed the Prime Minister’s office in jeopardy. The indecisive judgment of PM Kishida has resulted in utmost distrust in his leadership acumen.
Kishida’s lack of determination comes from his weak footing within the governing party. Kishida, whose faction ranks lowest among the four parties in alliance is obligated to listen to the whims and fancies of the three bigger factions including one led by the assassinated leader Shinzo Abe and heavyweights like Taro Aso. Kishida was compelled to appoint Terada’s replacement from Aso’s faction.
Kishida’s credibility has hit the lowest since he assumed power in October 2021 in the recent media surveys and majority of the respondents favoured Terada’s exit. This 3rd resignation has dealt a severe blow to the Kishida government trustworthiness as it has been indicted for its faction ‘Liberal Democratic Party’s’ close alignment with the Unification Church, which has been censured for its illegitimate recruitment process and indoctrinating followers into making huge donations, often leading to break-up in their families. Besides, Terada is a member of Kishida’s own faction in the party, his dismissal is seen as an additional discomfiture and a direct blow to the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Kishida was considered as a shrewd politician who could drive his government for the next three years without any hindrance, but his inept handling of government affairs besides leaving loose-strings in his own party with no command and control over corrupt practices has nose-dived his own reputation. Kishida also came under fire for holding a controversial state funeral for Abe, one of Japan’s most divisive leaders.
Abe’s friendly ties to the church, as well as of those among many LDP lawmakers, surfaced in the investigations into his assassination. The suspect told investigators his mother had made huge donations to the church, bankrupting his family and ruining his life.
Economic Revitalization Minister Daishiro Yamagiwa quit on Oct. 24 after facing criticism over his lack of explanations about his ties to the Unification Church, starting what became known as “a resignation domino” of the Kishida Cabinet.
Justice Minister Yasuhiro Hanashi was forced to resign over his remark that his job is low profile and only makes news when he signs the death penalty, only 10 days before Terada’s departure Sunday.
Kishida’s delayed decision in firing the justice minister led him to push back his Nov. 11 departure for three Asian summits, sparking criticism from opposition lawmakers and observers for being indecisive and lacking in leadership.
Kishida returned to Tokyo on Saturday after a nine-day trip and apparently faced pressure from his governing party executives to make a quick decision on Terada before discussions on key legislations resume Monday.
Kishida’s governing party needs to pass the second supplementary budget through March during the current parliamentary session, while also finalizing work on a new national security strategy and mid- to long-term defense guidelines by the end of the year.