PM Kishida appoints Hayashi to the dismay of Abe and Aso: Foreign Minister and China

PM Kishida appoints Hayashi to the dismay of Abe and Aso: Foreign Minister and China

Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi

Modern Tokyo Times

The Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, is showing early signs of self-belief. Henceforth, the appointment of the new Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi was met with dismay by two ex-leaders of Japan.

According to Shinzo Abe and Tara Aso, Hayashi is deemed too friendly towards China. These two bigwigs within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) believed that they could manipulate Kishida. They based this on Yoshihide Suga being a puppet during his leadership.

Hayashi, the Chairman of the Japan-China Parliamentary Friendship Association since 2017, is deemed to be too close to China. Abe and Aso also question his experience. However, Hayashi said he would resign from this association.

Hayashi said, “We cannot be panda huggers, but in China, there is a saying: ‘Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without danger.’”

Kishida contacted Abe and Aso directly and told them he would pick Hayashi. This was opposed by Abe and Aso, according to various sources. Despite this, Kishida remained strong and selected Hayashi to be the new Foreign Minister.

Kishida is showing mixed messages to China. On the one hand, the human rights angle concerning Hong Kong and Xinjiang will be monitored more. However, in the opposite direction, Hayashi will be more open-minded towards China.

Lee Jay Walker says, “Irrespective of the geopolitical angle – or if people agree or disagree with Kishida – it is important to have a prime minister who will lead from the front. Of course, Kishida must listen to all sound advice.”

Abe and Aso had their periods in charge of Japan. Henceforth, it is Kishida’s time to implement his policies without being constrained by ex-leaders.

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