Ex-Defense Minister Kishi Offers to Resign as Lawmaker

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Former Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, submitted a letter of resignation as a House of Representatives member to the speaker of the lower chamber of the Diet on Friday.

Kishi’s resignation for health reasons is expected to be approved at a plenary meeting of the Lower House on Tuesday. The younger brother of the late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been using a wheelchair recently.

A by-election in his constituency, the No. 2 constituency in Yamaguchi Prefecture, is expected to be held on April 23, along with by-elections in the No. 5 constituency in Chiba Prefecture, the No. 1 constituency in Wakayama Prefecture and the No. 4 constituency in Yamaguchi.

Kishi became a lawmaker for the first time in the 2004 election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber, and then switched to the Lower House. He has been elected four times to the lower chamber since 2012.

Kishi was appointed to the post of special adviser on national security to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in August last year. On Friday, the government approved Kishi’s resignation from the post. Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara will serve concurrently in the adviser post.

Kishi issued a statement the same day, saying that as his health condition has worsened rapidly, it is now difficult for him to fulfill his duties as a lawmaker. He apologized to the public for quitting his job before his current term ends.

Kishi’s 31-year-old eldest son, Nobuchiyo, has expressed his eagerness to run in the by-election to take over his father’s seat.