He is described as fond of alcohol, far from reality and uncontroversial. Despite his long career in senior Japanese politics, the next prime minister struggled to reach the people.
On Tuesday, 64-year-old Fumio Kishida Elected leader of the ruling party Liberal Democratic Party of Japan. On Monday, he will also become prime minister, as the party, along with the conservative Buddhist Komeito coalition party, has a majority in the Riksdag.
New York times He calls him “uncontroversial” and says he’s working on portraying himself as “more than a colorless bureaucrat”.
Since 1993, Kishida has been elected a member of the Japanese Parliament. In 2012 he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was elected to represent Hiroshima – which was what his father and grandfather were in his day.
Kishida wants what he calls “new capitalism” with more redistribution and economic growth. He hopes this will strengthen the middle class. However, he is struggling to get his message across to Japanese voters.
– It’s not sexy. It is not dynamic. He does not communicate effectively, says Professor Paul Medford at Meiji University in Tokyo.
– His rival Taro Kono was more popular in the election than Kishida among party members. Medford is more direct, when he’s younger, and has many followers on Twitter.
But Kono appears to be no longer loved by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the party’s nationalist wing – which still has a huge influence on the party. They thought Kono was the worst possible outcome.
On the other hand, the more liberal part of the party considered Abe’s candidate – the feminist nationalist – to be the other worst outcome, The Economist Bisciver. I opened the door for Kishida.
At the age of six, Kishida moved with his family to New York, where he attended school in Queens for two years. According to him, his sense of justice was awakened during these years, when he said that he was subjected to racial discrimination.
Among other things, he is said to have received constant feedback about his Japanese ethnic background.
Nevertheless, he developed a deep respect for the United States:
The United States was Japan’s enemy in the war, the country that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. But I was young, and to me the United States was nothing more than a generous and diverse country, Kishida wrote in her autobiography of her time as a child in this country.
During the leadership elections, the incoming prime minister promised to continue developing close relations with the United States. Professor Medford at Meiji University describes him as a political dove rather than a hawk – a cloud of conflict.
– But during the leadership elections, he gravitated more to the right, was tougher against China and tougher on the Taiwan issue. Medford says he may have done so to appeal to former Prime Minister Abe and his supporters.
He does not believe that Kishida will continue down this path as Prime Minister – and that he will once again behave like a conservative pigeon who hates conflict.
Since he was Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kishida has earned a reputation for being much more fond of good drinks and alcohol than his predecessor Shinzo Abe – who was a abstainer.
– If we drink together, we are friends. A relationship where both sides can talk together without reservation is the first step towards international peace, Kishida wrote about the relationship with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Despite disagreements between countries over the three southernmost islands of the Kuril Archipelago, the two diplomats found common interest in their love of whiskey and sake.
according to New York times Kishida planned a birthday party for her Russian counterpart, who got the 21-year-old bottle of Hibiki whiskey as a birthday present. In return, the Japanese received a well-connected book; When he opened it, he found a bottle of vodka inside.
– When he was foreign minister, he used to speak kindly and diplomatically. Professor Medford says he has done a good job.
He notes that Kishida in this position also stood in contrast to his main rival, Taro Kono, who was also foreign minister. He was
Kitchen picture to disturb
When the ruling Liberal Democratic Party elected a new leader last year, Fumio Kishida was an unlikely candidate — and he almost fell out of the competition. According to the South China Morning Post, when he posted a picture of him and his wife on Twitter.
In the photo, he is wearing a suit, tie and face mask, and dinner has just been served. The wife, who has prepared dinner, is standing in the background with an apron, smiling behind her face mask.
In between my appearances on TV, my wife made a meal for me. She came to the capital all the way from my hometown. He wrote on Twitter Thank you very much. She had covered the 800 km distance from Hiroshima to Tokyo.
The image was mocked in the media, described as unrealistic, old-fashioned and chauvinistic. Also this year, Kishida shared a photo of a dish prepared by his wife – but this time he waited until he was elected party leader.
When I got home, my wife made okonomiyaki (Japanese cabbage pie jour.anm.), because I wrote on Instagram that I love the dish when you make it.
This time the picture shows only the dish which consists of pasta, cabbage and pancake batter – covered with some kind of barbecue sauce.
– Always the best. But today was a delicious meal I will never forget. Thank you very much, writes on Twitter.
Dangerous options await
Next year, the prime minister will undergo new parliamentary elections: elections for the House of Representatives in November of this year, and for the Senate next July.
Medford believes that Kishida and the party will likely lose many seats in the election – and if the loss is too great, Kishida may have to resign as early as next fall.
– Senate elections next July will be dangerous. If he is not popular with the people, he may lose the party greatly. The professor explains that he could pressure him to quit.
At times, Japanese prime ministers have been very brief. From 2006 to 2012, the country changed prime ministers seven times.
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