Kishida Dismisses Reconstruction Minister Akiba

Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 27 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida effectively dismissed reconstruction minister Kenya Akiba, who has been under fire from opposition lawmakers over funding and other scandals, on Tuesday.

Akiba, 60, became the fourth minister whom Kishida has replaced since he reshuffled his cabinet in August. The dismissal of Akiba deals an additional blow to Kishida, who has been struggling with falling public approval ratings.

The prime minister appointed former reconstruction minister Hiromichi Watanabe, 72, to succeed Akiba. Watanabe is well versed in affairs related to reconstruction efforts, Kishida told reporters. Watanabe served as reconstruction minister for a year from October 2018 under the late former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Kishida also replaced Mio Sugita, parliamentary vice minister for internal affairs and communications, who has been under fire for her past discriminatory remarks about sexual and ethnic minorities.

The prime minister apparently thought that he would not be able to survive the next parliamentary session set to begin in January while retaining Akiba and Sugita in their posts.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press