Japan's Kishida Ousts Four Cabinet Ministers Over Financial Scandal

Japan's Kishida Ousts Four Cabinet Ministers Over Financial Scandal
Image copyright: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images News via Getty Images

The Facts

  • Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida forced the resignation of four cabinet ministers on Thursday as the leader looks to regain public trust amid the fallout of a large financial scandal that has haunted his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

  • Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, a close ally of Kishida, Economy and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, Internal Affairs Minister Junji Suzuki, and Agriculture Minister Ichiro Miyashita were all let go. The ministers are from Japan’s Abe faction, which is the LDP’s most powerful faction named after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated.

The Spin

Narrative A

While the LDP has built enough power over the last seven decades to not crumble from the Abe era corruption scandal, Japan's ruling party is severely wounded and may not be able to continue its run of dominance forever. Prime Minister Kishida’s approval rating was already falling thanks to debilitating inflation, and now, the Japanese people have even more reason to question the credibility of their government. Corruption plagued the Abe regime, as bureaucrats and legislators lined their pockets, but Kishida may not be completely clean in this scandal either.

Narrative B

Kishida values maintaining transparency and promoting trust in his government, and his decision to reshuffle his cabinet shows his commitment to stability. Kishida took preemptive measures to root out any corruption that could derail the public's trust in his cabinet, and he is seeking to move the LDP beyond the Abe era. While the faction remains extremely important in the LDP, it's not immune from scrutiny, and the Prime Minister will put the interests of the public above all.

Metaculus Prediction

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