Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara, one of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s closest confidants, has been avoiding reporters for a month despite being a deputy government spokesman, Jiji Press reported on Tuesday.
According to the report, Kihara, who was appointed when Kishida’s cabinet was formed in October 2021, has consistently responded to interviews since then, but since late last month he has not been seen at the front entrance of the Prime Minister’s Office, a space where he meets with reporters.
On the 6th of this month, he told reporters through an official that he would not be responding to interviews for the time being.
As for why Kihara is refusing to respond to interviews, the Jiji News Agency cited the fact that his wife has been embroiled in allegations that she was involved in the death of a man in Tokyo in 2006.
The weekly Shukan Bunshun reported at the time that the deceased man was the ex-husband of Kihara’s wife, and that police had closed the case as an extreme measure, but a former investigator countered that there was no evidence to support that judgment.
Minister Matsuno said at a press conference on Nov. 28 that he had received reports from Deputy Minister Kihara that accusations of pressure on the investigation were unfounded, but Deputy Minister Kihara has not officially offered any explanation.
The chief cabinet secretary accompanies the prime minister on foreign visits and is responsible for explaining the results of summits and international meetings, but Kihara stayed in Japan when Kishida traveled to Europe and the Middle East this month.
Kishida was accompanied on his foreign visits by another Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihiko Isozaki.
When Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno traveled to Okinawa on March 24, it was Mr. Isozaki who addressed the press instead of Mr. Kihara.
In Japan, the chief cabinet secretary usually holds press conferences on weekday mornings and afternoons, and in his absence, 먹튀검증토토사이트 the deputy chief cabinet secretary takes his place.
This has reportedly led to criticism from some quarters of the government that “it’s a problem that he can’t fulfill his duties as a deputy minister.”
As Jiji Press notes, “Kihara’s departure may become a focal point in the reshuffle expected in September and in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s reshuffle.”