Ex-PM Abe’s nephew abruptly takes down website flaunting family tree after criticism

YAMAGUCHI — Nobuchiyo Kishi, the son of former Minister of Defense Nobuo Kishi and nephew of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has shut down his website after a family tree including former prime ministers and other lawmakers displayed on the site sparked heavy criticism on social media for flaunting his “family of politicians.”

Nobuchiyo, 31, announced his intention to run for the April 23 by-election in the Yamaguchi No. 2 constituency following the resignation of his 63-year-old father, a ruling Liberal Democratic Party member and the younger brother of former Prime Minister Abe.

Nobuchiyo had posted a family tree on his website which included former prime ministers Nobusuke Kishi, Eisaku Sato and Abe, as well as former Minister of Foreign Affairs Shintaro Abe and former lower house member Kan Abe, drawing a lot of criticism online. The family tree has since been taken down, and his website is no longer accessible.

In an interview with the press on Feb. 20, Nobuchiyo explained that the website is “temporarily disabled to fix a browsing issue.” He said, “The site could be viewed on computers, but was not mobile friendly. We want to use this opportunity to renew it.” He added that there is “no direct relationship” between the online backlash and the removal of the family tree.

Nobuchiyo told reporters, “I am aware that there are various opinions about the family tree, including criticism of its members being hereditary lawmakers. We will think carefully about how the site is presented. It is true that there are many people in my family who have served as politicians. I’ve had many opportunities to think about local and national issues, and I would like to make use of them for my future political activities.”

(Japanese original by Nanako Hori, Yamaguchi Bureau)

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