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EDITORIAL | Fumio Kishida Must Regain Public Support Before Calling an Election

The Fumio Kishida administration faces a mountain of issues affecting Japan, which it has so far handled irresponsibly and insincerely.



Fumio Kishida takes questions at the prime minister's press conference on June 13, 2023. (© Sankei)

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has stated that he will not dissolve the House of Representatives during the current session of the Diet. Meanwhile, the Diet rejected a no-confidence motion in the Cabinet submitted by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan.

In making the announcement, the Prime Minister said, "It is the mission of the Kishida administration to provide answers to issues that cannot be postponed."

Kishida's decision not to dissolve the Diet during this session came as the approval rating for his Cabinet began to decline. It had been trending upward. Kishida probably shied away from calling a general election because victory was far from assured.

In other words, support for the Kishida administration is by no means rock solid. This is due solely to the way the administration has been running the country. Before calling an election, it must first squarely tackle the mountain of issues currently facing Japan.

The May G7 Hiroshima Summit was a definite success. Then, just as support for the Cabinet was on the upswing, the Kishida administration suffered a series of blows. 

A graphic depiction of the front of one of the troublesome "My Number Cards."

A Litany of Problems

Among other things, the Prime Minister's eldest son, Shotaro Kishida, who was serving as his father's political secretary, resigned. That was after a weekly magazine revealed that he held private parties at the Prime Minister's official residence. 

Moreover, a number of problems with the My Number Card identification system also surfaced one after another.

There have even been questions regarding the "Children's Future Strategy." This Kishida policy has several programs planned to combat the nation's declining births. For example, there is the planned expansion of child allowances. However, although an annual budget size of ¥3.5 trillion JPY (about $25 billion USD) over the next three years is projected, details on how the financial resources needed will be secured have been postponed until the end 2023. 

A family visits at Tokyo Tower to enjoy 333 Koinobori for Children's Day. (KYODO)

The Public Deserves More

This is no way to rally public support. Prime Minister Kishida needs to change his irresponsible and insincere attitude. 

Conservative voters who have supported the Liberal Democratic Party have become frustrated by the way the government forced through the passage of an LGBTQ law. There seems to be no consideration that could undermine the safety and security of women. 

And there is the deteriorating relationship with Komeito due to friction over the adjustment of electoral districts. That is another one of the factors making Kishida cautious about his decision on whether to dissolve the Lower House.


Without reflection on these issues, it will be difficult for the government to regain momentum.

North Korea launched what it said was a military reconnaissance satellite on May 31. (©Chosun News Agency via Kyodo).

Still a Dangerous Security Environment

The diplomatic calendar is jampacked from here on out. One factor is coordinating his attendance at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, in July. Besides, the Prime Minister will be going to the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, in September. 

Moreover, Japan currently holds the Group of Seven (G7) chair. Therefore, we must do our part to ensure the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.

On the same day that Kishida announced that he was postponing dissolving the Diet, North Korea launched two ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan. Both landed within Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The stark reality remains that the security environment, including China's hegemonic moves, is becoming increasingly severe.

We will find ourselves in dire straits if the Kishida administration does not remain alert to these dangers. It must stay determined to defend the nation and its people. 


(Read the editorial in Japanese.)

Author: Editorial Board, The Sankei Shimbun

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