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Japan trade minister resigns over donation scandal: Media

  • News Desk

    Agence France-Presse

Tokyo, Japan   /   Fri, October 25, 2019   /   07:47 am
Japan trade minister resigns over donation scandal: Media Newly appointed Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Isshu Sugawara speaks during a press conference at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo on September 11, 2019. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on September 11 appointed new foreign and defence ministers and promoted a popular rising political star, in a cabinet reshuffle that fuelled speculation over the prime minister's successor. (AFP/Toshifumi Kitamura)

Japan's new trade minister said Friday he had submitted his resignation after being accused of violating election law by offering voters money and gifts, local media said.

Isshu Sugawara has been in the hot seat after a magazine reported he was suspected of paying 20,000 yen ($185) to a bereaved family in his constituency and of giving gifts to other voters.

The amounts, while small, would constitute a violation of Japan's public office election law.

Sugawara submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after a cabinet meeting, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Jiji Press agency quoted Sugawara as saying "it is not my intention that parliamentary debate stall (because of the scandal)."

Sugawara was appointed in a recent cabinet reshuffle but has not taken over the key portfolio of handling trade negotiations with the United States.

That task remains the purview of former trade minister Toshimitsu Motegi, who now serves as foreign minister.