The move comes amid public outrage over photos of a party held by the younger Kishida at the prime minister’s official office in December.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he would remove his son from his executive secretary position amid growing public anger over a private party held at his official residence last year.
Kishida told reporters on Monday that his son, Shotaro, would resign as his executive secretary for political affairs due to “inappropriate behavior”.
The move came after the weekly Shukan Bunshun magazine published photos showing Kishida’s son and his relatives at the prime minister’s official residence attending a year-end party on December 30.
The photos show the guests posing on the red carpet stairs in imitation of the group photos taken by the newly appointed Cabinets, with the younger Kishida in the center – the position reserved for of the prime minister.
Other photos show the guests standing on the podium as if holding a news conference.
“His behavior in a public space is not appropriate as a person in an official position as a political aide. I’ve decided to replace him for accountability,” Kishida told reporters on Monday night. .
He said his son would be replaced by another secretary, Takayoshi Yamamoto, on Thursday.
Kishida acknowledged that he briefly greeted guests, but said he did not stay at the dinner party.
He said he severely reprimanded his son for the act, but it failed to quell ongoing criticism from opposition lawmakers and public anger, which pushed up his support ratings.
Seiji Osaka, a senior lawmaker in Japan’s largest opposition party, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, said the expulsion should have come sooner, Kyodo news agency reported.
“It’s too late. I doubt it [Kishida] designated a person who cannot [of being the] prime minister’s aide to the post,” Osaka was quoted as saying.
Earlier, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno called the son’s party at the official residence “inappropriate” and promised to ensure proper management of the facility to prevent future misuse.
The nearly 100-year-old building was once the prime minister’s office and became a residence in 2005 when a new office was built.
Kishida appointed his son as policy secretary, one of the eight secretary posts for the prime minister, last October. The appointment, seen as a step to groom him as his successor, has been criticized as nepotism, common in Japanese politics, which has long been dominated by hereditary lawmakers.
Shotaro Kishida was his father’s former private secretary.
This is not the first time Kishida’s son has been criticized for using his official position for private affairs. He was reprimanded for using embassy cars for private tours of Britain and Paris and for buying souvenirs for cabinet members at a luxury department store in London when he accompanied his father on trips. .
Kishida also lost four ministers in three months over allegations of financial irregularities or links to the controversial Unification Church.