Kishida Defends Son's Purchase of Souvenirs


Tokyo, Jan. 31 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday that the purchase of souvenirs by his eldest son, Shotaro, a secretary to the prime minister, using an official car during the father's recent official overseas trip was part of the son's official duties.

"Buying souvenirs on behalf of the prime minister falls within the official duties of a secretary to the prime minister," Kishida told a parliamentary committee meeting. The prime minister said that his son bought souvenirs for all ministers with the prime minister's pocket money.

A Japanese weekly magazine has reported that Shotaro used an official car for sightseeing and shopping for souvenirs while accompanying the prime minister on his tour of five North American and European countries in mid-January.

On Tuesday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura and transport minister Tetsuo Saito said they have received gifts from the prime minister. All of them declined to share details, saying that it is a private matter.

A male cabinet minister received a tie from the prime minister, according to sources familiar with the matter.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press