Japan's farm minister to quit over financial scandal

Japan's new farm minister Takehiko Endo decided to quit Sunday over a scandal involving a farmers' group that he heads, Kyodo News said, quoting officials of the ruling party.

Japan's farm minister to quit over financial scandal
Japan's new farm minister Takehiko Endo decided to quit Sunday over a scandal involving a farmers' group that he heads, Kyodo News said, quoting officials of the ruling party.

Endo will submit his resignation to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday morning, sources of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) said, according to Kyodo.

Endo, 68, became farm minister less a week ago when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reshuffled his Cabinet on Aug. 27 to regain public trust after the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's crushing defeat in an upper house election in July.

Several days ago, the farmers' mutual aid association Endo headed was found to have illegally obtained 1.15 million yen (9,900 U.S. dollars) in government subsidies in 1999 by padding its membership numbers when applying for a crop damage compensation scheme.

Edo who has headed the group in Yamagata prefecture since 1982,said Saturday that he was informed of the matter three years ago, arguing that he was not directly involved with it.

Since Abe's first Cabinet formed in September 2006, three farm ministers have failed to stay in the post. The late Toshikatsu Matsuoka committed suicide in May over a fund scandal, while Norihiko Akagi, his successor, resigned two months after taking post in June.

Agencies
Last Mod: 02 Eylül 2007, 17:36
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