TOKYO: Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has decided to replace four ministers and 11 other ministerial positions in his cabinet as a scandal over alleged undisclosed funding has fuelled public disapproval, the Asahi newspaper reported late on Sunday.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, Trade Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, Internal Affairs Minister Junji Suzuki and Agriculture Minister Ichiro Miyashita are among those replaced, which also included deputies and parliamentary secretaries, Asahi reported.
Nishimura on Sunday said he would stay in the post and review his fundraising proceeds after media reports of an imminent cabinet reshuffle over allegations about unreported funds.
The 15 officials to be sacked belong to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s biggest “Abe faction”, which prosecutors have investigated for allegedly hiding more than 100 million yen (US$690,000) of political funds over the five years.
Kishida is set to hold a press conference on Wednesday at the end of the current parliament session to explain his administration’s responses, Asahi said.
Kishida’s cabinet approval ratings were hovering below 30 per cent even before the fundraising scandal, a record low in his premiership since Oct 2021, reflecting voter worries over rising living costs and looming tax hikes.
Source: New Straits Times