Japan’s Unprecedented Resignations Amid Political Scandals

In just a span of one week, resignations after another are plaguing Abe’s government. We are expecting more heads to roll including that of Abe himself.

Japan Trade Minister Resigns-3

Japan Minister of Economy Hit by S-M Scandal, PM Abe Faces Trouble

Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yoichi Miyazawa reported to have used political funding at an S-M bar in his home district.
Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yoichi Miyazawa reported to have used political funding at an S-M bar in his home district.

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Criminal complaint

Hours later Mr Abe announced that Ms Matsushima, 58, had also resigned.

She had distributed paper fans carrying her image and policies at a festival in her constituency, said NHK.

The opposition Democratic Party filed a criminal complaint against her on Friday, and demanded her resignation, saying this was an apparent violation of election law and rules on usage of political funds.

Japan's Justice Minister Midori Matsushima (C) reacts as she is surrounded by reporters upon her arrival at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence for a meeting with Abe in Tokyo 20 October 2014Ms Matsushima (C) met with Mr Abe at his official residence shortly before news of her resignation broke
Shinzo Abe with his new female cabinet ministers  3 September 2014Shinzo Abe has now lost two of the five women he appointed to his cabinet in September

The BBC’s Japan correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes says that this is not the end of Mr Abe’s problems concerning his new female ministers.

Eriko Yamatani, minister in charge of the North Korean abduction issue, was shown in photographs with members of an ultra-nationalist group accused of hate speech against Japan’s ethnic Korean community.

Mr Abe’s first term as prime minister in 2006-2007 saw a string of scandals amongst his ministers, eventually leading to his own resignation for health reasons after just one year in office.

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Sobbing Japanese politician resigns

Ryutaro Nonomura cries during a press conference in Kobe, western Japan (AP/Kyodo News)

A Japanese politician who was seen sobbing over dubious spending in a video that went viral has offered his resignation.

 Assemblyman Ryutaro Nonomura, 47, a Hyogo Prefectural assemblyman, will have to wait to find out if the assembly will accept his resignation, spokeswoman Chika Fukuyama said.

Mr Nonomura burst into tears and screamed nonsensical phrases when he was asked at a news conference last week about the number of trips he took to a hot springs at taxpayers’ expense.

The video had drawn 2.7 million views as of Friday on just one site. His wailing spawned several spoofs, some of which juxtaposed his voice with rock music and jazz piano.

Calls for his resignation have grown after it emerged M r Nonomura visited the hot springs 106 times last year, using public money, and reporting it as political activity.

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