Kishida to leave to Southeast Asia early Saturday

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida postponed his departure to Southeast Asia in order to replace Justice Minister Yasuhiro Hanashi over remarks he made Wednesday that appeared to trivialize his duties as the head of the ministry.

Kishida was originally scheduled to depart Friday afternoon for a trip that includes Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand. Instead, he will leave on Saturday 1:00 a.m., Kishida said at a press conference Friday evening.

Kishida is scheduled to attend gatherings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Group of 20 nations, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). During the trip, Kishida phans to have trilateral talks with U.S. President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol.