Kishida appoints Japan’s new internal affairs minister

Tokyo, Nov 21 (EFE).- Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has appointed Takeaki Matsumoto as the new internal affairs minister, a day after his predecessor’s resignation amid a political funding scandal.

Matsumoto was selected due to his knowledge of the tax system, digitalization, telecommunication and administrative reform, as well as his previous experience as a minister, Kishida told reporters on Monday.

Former foreign minister Matsumoto, 63, replaced Minoru Terada, who resigned on Sunday after pressure built for Kishida to dismiss him.

The new minister became a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in 2017 and his ancestor Hirobumi Ito was Japan’s first prime minister.

His resignation was the third from a minister in Kishida’s Cabinet in less than a month and a new blow to the approval rating of his administration, which has hit a low just over a year after he assumed the position.

Terada had been criticized for several electoral funds irregularities and acknowledged a media report that one of his support groups submitted annual political funding documents signed off by a dead person.

Despite leading his party to victory in July’s parliamentary by-elections, Kishida’s popularity has suffered sharply since the assassination of former leader Shinzo Abe around that time exposed links between the LDP and the contentious Unification Church.

On Oct. 24, economic revitalization minister Daishiro Yamagiwa left office over his links to the religious sect.

More recently, Kishida sacked then-justice minister Yasuhiro Hanashi on Nov. 11 after flippant comments about his role and the death penalty. EFE


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