String of Minister Resignations Leaves Kishida in Precarious Position


Tokyo, Nov. 21 (Jiji Press)--The string of ministerial resignations over the past month has left Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on shaky ground amid dropping public support ratings.

Internal affairs minister Minoru Terada resigned Sunday over a funding scandal, becoming the third minister to step down within the space of a month following economic revitalization minister Daishiro Yamagiwa and Justice Minister Yasuhiro Hanashi.

Kishida summoned Terada to the prime minister's official residence on Sunday night, where he accepted a letter of resignation from the internal affairs minister. "I deeply apologize for the wave of ministerial resignations," Kishida later told reporters.

Terada had been under fire for allegations of improper practices related to political funding, including paying money to campaign staff. Calls for his resignation had been strong even within Kishida's ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

The amount of resignations "would normally make it very difficult for a prime minister to stay on," an LDP official said. Kenta Izumi, leader of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, said Kishida's "appointment responsibility and lack of personnel management capabilities will come under close scrutiny."

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Jiji Press