NextSharkNextShark.com
Latest Newsletter🍵 White House’s first Lunar New YearRead

Article

Japan PM aide apologizes for ‘shameful’ act of having hands in pockets on US trip

japan pm aide hands pockets
via @asahi_kantei

    Asian America Daily - in under 5 minutes

    Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories, to your inbox daily, for free!

    Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive

    A Japanese official has apologized after being filmed with his hands in his pockets during an official trip to Washington, D.C.

    Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara, who serves as an aide to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, received heavy criticism online for a gesture viewed as casual and inappropriate according to traditional Japanese etiquette standards.

    The incident occurred during Kishida’s first summit with U.S. President Joe Biden on Jan. 13. 

    As Kishida spoke to the media, Kihara was captured in the background with his hands inside his pants pockets. Many in Japan believe that such an action portrays a dismissive attitude and is considered inappropriate in formal scenarios.

    When footage of Kishida’s interview emerged on Japanese media, viewers criticized Kihara as “shameful,” “disrespectful” and “arrogant.”

    The 52-year-old aide addressed the gaffe last week during a YouTube livestream, where he apologized and revealed that his mother saw the comments online. 

    She reportedly called him on the phone to tell him she was “ashamed” of his behavior and even suggested that he sew up his suit pockets to avoid repeating such an “embarrassment” in the future.

    Speaking with Japanese YouTuber Yoshikatsu Ikuta, Kihara described himself as “the kind of person who puts his hands in his pockets and walks while thinking.”

    Justifying his actions, Kihara claims that at the time of the incident, he was “thinking of how the amicable relations at the Japan-US summit talks could be conveyed.”

    Kihara is not the only Japanese politician to face criticism for being caught with their hands in their pockets.

    Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike faced a similar backlash in 2019 for warming her hands in her coat pockets due to the cold weather. The governor apologized to reporters before being criticized on social media.

    Support our Journalism with a Contribution

    Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

    Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

    However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

    We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way.  Thank you for everyone's support. We love you all and can't appreciate you guys enough.

    Support NextShark

    Mastercard, Visa, Amex, Discover, Paypal