Japan PM aide scolded by 'ashamed' mom for putting hands in pockets on Biden trip

Alanis Morissette said it best when she sang, “Everything’s going to be fine, fine, fine… ’cause I’ve got one hand in my pocket.”

But things weren’t so fine for one senior aide to Japan‘s prime minister after his own mother said she was “ashamed” when he was spotted with his hands in his pockets during a recent trip to the U.S.

Seiji Kihara, deputy chief cabinet secretary, was caught on camera with his hands buried in his pant pockets as he stood behind Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida after a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden on Jan. 13.

In video of Kishida speaking to reporters outside Blair House in Washington, Kihara, 52, is seen in the background, looking upward with his hands hidden in his pant pockets. When he appears to realize that he is also in frame, Kihara adjusts his trousers and clasps his hands in front of his body.

When the video clip was shared by the Japanese Asahi Shimbun newspaper, a wave of criticism for Kihara flooded social media. Many called his pocketed stance “rude” or “arrogant” and said he had “poor manners.” Others called for there to be professional consequences for Kihara.

In a YouTube livestream last week, Kihara said he is the kind of person to often stand or walk with his hands in his pockets.

He added in Japanese: “I was thinking of how best to convey the amicable Japan-U.S. relations on display at the summit.”

But this wasn’t enough of a reason for his own mother, who Kihara said called him to say she was deeply upset to see her son engage in what is deemed rude behaviour. He said his mother insisted he ought to “sew up his pockets” to avoid the embarrassment in the future.

Kihara is not the only politician to be called out for having their hands in their pockets. Last year, former British prime minister Boris Johnson was criticized for his awkwardness when he was seen at a NATO summit in Brussels with his hands in his pockets while other world leaders engaged in polite small talk.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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