PM Kishida of Japan Facing Mounting Pressure to Step Down

PM Kishida of Japan Facing Mounting Pressure to Step Down

Noriko Watanabe and Kanako Mita

Modern Tokyo Times

Mounting pressure is being put on Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to step down. This concerns internal political pressure inside the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and poor rating polls that indicate a lack of trust in his leadership.

Yoshihide Suga, former prime minister of Japan, is the latest to indicate that Kishida needs to take responsibility for the political fund scandal that taints the system.

Suga pointedly said, “Despite the prime minister’s own faction being part of the problem, he has not taken responsibility.”

Suga continued, “When will he do so? When will he mention it? He has come this far avoiding that responsibility.”

Reuters reports, “Prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into whether dozens of lawmakers received proceeds from fundraising events that saw millions of dollars kept off official party records.”

Once the political fund scandal emerged, four ministers immediately resigned in late 2023. This applied to Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, Economy and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, Agriculture Minister Ichiro Miyashita, and Internal Affairs Minister Junji Suzuki.

Since then, the crisis has continued to impact the careers of leading politicians caught up in the scandal.

Suga warns – concerning the leadership of Kishida – that “An increasing number of people (within the LDP) are feeling a sense of crisis that if this situation continues, there will be a change of government.” 

Ominously, Kyodo News said a recent poll indicated that only 10.4% of the general public supports Kishida to hold onto power concerning the internal LDP leadership race.

Lee Jay Walker (Modern Tokyo Times analyst) says, “Japan needs a political leader who focuses on the internal needs of Japan – rather than preserving power for the sake of it and following the foreign policy mantra of America. However, does the electorate trust real innovation and reforms within a political party that usually governs Japan?”

The last thing Japan needs is another political family silver spoon leader – it is crushing innovation.

It remains to be seen if Kishida will buckle under the pressure.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group Modern Tokyo Times – International News and Japan News – Sawako Utsumi and Modern Tokyo Times artist Modern Tokyo News – Tokyo News and International News