Japan justice minister quits

2012-10-23 12:27
Japan Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. (File, AP)

Japan Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tokyo - Japan's justice minister quit on Tuesday because of ill health, a cabinet official said, after calls for his resignation over past ties to an organised crime syndicate, dealing another blow to unpopular Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

Keishu Tanaka, 74, only became justice minister in a cabinet reshuffle on 1 October, and his resignation is the second by a minister since Noda took office in September 2011.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told a news conference that Tanaka stepped down for health reasons.

The resignation came a day after Tanaka left a Tokyo hospital where he had checked in on Friday with chest pains, irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure.

The health problems followed days of calls for his resignation after a magazine report linked him to the Yakuza organised crime syndicate.

Tanaka said he acted as a matchmaker at a mobster's wedding and attended a party thrown by the head of a crime group about 30 years ago, explaining that he was not aware of the groom's mob connections or the nature of the event at the time.

Tanaka has also admitted shortly after his appointment that his party branch accepted 420 000 yen ($5 300) in donations from a company run by a foreigner between 2006 and 2009. Accepting funds from foreign nationals is illegal if done so knowingly.

Tanaka's office said he had returned all of the money, according to media.

"The resignation is likely to further weaken Noda's support within his party. Obviously, it will become more difficult for him to exert leadership," said Mikitaka Masuyama, professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.

Falling public support

"But it is uncertain whether this could be a trigger for an early election ... Given falling public support for the government, there is no benefit in him dissolving parliament and calling snap election at the moment."

Noda promised in August to hold an election "soon" as part of negotiations with the opposition on a plan to raise sales tax.

The Tanaka scandal is the latest in a string of setbacks for Noda, the ruling Democrats' third prime minister in as many years, who is expected to lose the next election.

In September last year, days after Noda formed his government, then Trade Minister Yoshio Hachiro quit over comments about radiation following a visit to the Fukushima region, scene of a nuclear plant accident following an earthquake and tsunami in March that year.

Government policy-making has stalled since the parliament session ended last month, with the opposition blocking legislation in a split parliament to try and force an early election.

Noda's ruling party has decided to convene an extra session of parliament from 29 October to try to pass a bill needed to cover nearly half the government's budget spending, setting the stage for another showdown with the opposition.

NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

New GIF keyboard on iOS for added fun!

Soon sending an LOL! or facepalm will be so much more fun!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Puppy goes crazy over iPad game
Printable solar panels will bring exciting new opportunities!
Now there’s a special lane for texting while walking
LOL! 7 brutally honest texts from parents

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to fight against the current today but this will just use up a lot of energy and not get you very far. You...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.