Political gaffes in Japan have a long tradition
TOKYO — You may have read of the recent sacking of Justice Minister Yasuhiro Hanashi by Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Hanashi was widely criticized after making some injudicious remarks about the irrelevancy of his position. Hanashi was quoted as saying, “the Justice Minister becomes a top story in daytime news programs only when stamping a seal on documents of execution,” referring to it as a “low-key” post.
His remarks were lambasted as frivolous and came in the wake of severe criticism of the LDP over other issues, such as the Party’s shady connections to the Unification Church and political funds related scandals, which have driven the Kishida government’s approval ratings down into the 30’s.
However, such gaffes are part and parcel of Japan’s postwar political history, a subject I have been following since my university days in Tokyo and my graduation thesis on the LDP and its many factions.