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Japan’s PM on fire over son’s “paid’’ sightseeing trips overseas



Mr Fumio Kishida

TOKYO- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida came under fire on Tuesday from the opposition camp over allegation that his son used taxpayers’ money for sightseeing trips overseas.

Shotaro, 32, serves as Kashida’s secretary.

He was alleged by the Shukan Shincho magazine to have visited tourist hot-spots in Paris, London and Ottawa at taxpayers’ expense, using a government vehicle.

The allegations dealt further blow to the already slumping approval rating of Kishida’s government.

There were a number of high-profile ministerial resignations over funding scandals, gaffes and links to a shady religious organisation.

The Kishida administration is also facing backlash over contentious taxes to fund unprecedented increase in the country’s defence spending.

Local media polls in December said the prime minister’s approval rating had dropped to around 30 per cent, the lowest since he launched his cabinet in October 2021.

It is a level below which historically, has been a harbinger of the end of a prime minister’s tenure.

The Japanese leader initially caught flak in October when he hand-picked Shotaro, the eldest of his three sons, to serve as his executive secretary.

This sparked fervent accusations of nepotism from the opposition bloc as well as the public.

The latest headache for Kishida follows his week-long trip to Britain, Canada, France, Italy and the United States, ahead of the May G7 summit to be held in Japan.

At a parliamentary committee session on Tuesday, Kishida, under a grilling opposition refused to comment on his son’s action. (Xinhua/NAN)

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