JAPAN – The prime minister of Japan won’t be counting on a bode of confidence from his wife!
First lady Nobuko Kan, wife of Prime Minister Naoto Kan, doesn’t exactly have full confidence in her husband’s ability to lead Japan. In her book, Nabuko questions whether he is fit for the nation’s highest position and suggests his tenure might be short-lived.
In “You are Prime Minister, So What Will Change in Japan?” the first lady lists a host of her husband’s shortcomings, from his failure to do any housework to his hot temper.
The list isn’t all bad. She depicts the prime minister, who took the job in June, as a caring father of two sons. She also feels that he can be incredibly inspiring when he speaks spontaneously. Not the case when he reads his speeches.
Naoto, 63, has often called his wife “the opposition at home.” Asked by reporters about the book, Kan said he was too scared to read it.
The book may be ill-timed. Kan is struggling to revive sagging public support after his ruling party suffered a heavy defeat in upper house elections two weeks ago. That result heightened speculation he could join the conveyor belt of recent Japanese prime ministers who have tried to revive the country’s flagging economy, and been ditched in short order.
The first lady’s book seems out of line as it is unprecedented for a Japanese first lady to speak so bluntly.
In the book, Nabuko says her husband became prime minister “by chance” and that it felt “unreal” he had the position.
“I cannot help feeling a sense of wrongness,” about Kan being prime minister, she said. “Since I’ve known him so well, I ask myself whether this person is right for prime minister.”
She also might not be sending the right message of confidence. She believes that her husband’s tenure might be short lived. Nabuko only brought summer clothes when the couple first moved into the prime minister’s residence.
“Depending on the outcome of September’s party election, we may have to quickly pack up and leave,” she said.