Since 1975
  • facebook
  • twitter

Public support rising for Foreign Minister Kamikawa to succeed Kishida

KAMIKAWA Yoko (left) and KISHIDA Fumio. (ANJ)
KAMIKAWA Yoko (left) and KISHIDA Fumio. (ANJ)
Short Url:
02 Mar 2024 10:03:33 GMT9
02 Mar 2024 10:03:33 GMT9

Khaldon Azhari

TOKYO: Japan’s Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio has lost so much public support that big attention now is on who may follow him to become the leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and, thus, the next prime Minister of Japan.

Mainichi News polls show veteran politician ISHIBA Shigeru is leading the list of candidates for the top job, but Foreign Minister KAMIKAWA Yoko is rapidly becoming a rising star and now occupies the second most popular candidate.

Of the respondents to a Mainichi poll, ISHIBA gained an approval rate of 25 percent and KAMIKAWA 12 percent. The Minister in charge of Economic Security, TAKAICHI Sanae, and KOIZUMI Shinjiro received an approval rate of 9 percent, and Digital Minister KONO Taro, rated 7 percent. The former Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications NODA Seiko received a 2 percent rating. Straggling into last place, Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio and LDP Secretary-General MOTEGI Toshimitsu received a 1 percent rating each.

Kamikawa, 70, is a seven-term Lower House member from the Kishida faction, and her strength is being untainted by the slush fund scandal of that faction. She served as justice minister in three cabinets.

In 2018, her second term as justice minister, she signed the execution papers for the 13 death-row Aum Shinrikyo terrorist cult inmates convicted of murder.

In September 2023, Kamikawa became Japan’s first female Foreign Minister in almost two decades.

She has a Masters from Harvard Kennedy School and joined the policy team of Max Baucus, a US Democratic Party senator from Montana, after working at Mitsubishi Research Institute Inc.

The Daily Asahi Shimbun quoted Kamikawa as saying that “politics must take a more proactive role in addressing international issues.”

If Kamikawa decides to run for the LDP presidency, she will need huge support from LDP faction leaders. Chief Cabinet Secretary HAYASHI Yoshimasa, a former foreign minister, chairs her Kishida faction. Hayashi also might compete for the Prime Minister’s post.

In reality, polls or popularity rates are not indicative of who will become prime Minister in Japan, as the constitution stipulates that the election for this top political post is run and decided by the members of the parliament and not the ordinary voter in the street.

The significance of the poll results is that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party is in trouble and has lost considerable trust and support of the public due to the slush fund scandal. If Kishida can’t lift the sinking support rate of his administration, legislators in the party could pressure him to resign, concerned that they might lose their seats in the next general election under his leadership or the lack of it.

In such a situation in the past, this veteran survivalist party has resorted to a common tactic to bring in a new and clean face, hoping the Japanese voters will forgive and forget.

Most Popular

return to top