Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose, who was instrumental in the city's successful bid to host the 2020 Olympics, announced his resignation Thursday over a money scandal that sparked public distrust in his leadership.
Only three months since Tokyo won the Olympic bid, Inose was forced to step down for receiving 50 million yen in cash ahead of the Tokyo gubernatorial election last December from hospital operator Tokushukai, which is mired in vote-buying allegations involving a Diet member.
While Inose's resignation has apparently tarnished Tokyo's image, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he believes the governor's resignation would not hamper preparations for the Olympic Games.
Inose became vice Tokyo governor in June 2007, asked by Ishihara, then governor of Tokyo. He had worked as a writer before.
Social media users around the world have deluged a special Facebook page calling for the safety of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto, who is being held captive by the Islamic State extremist group, with selfies proclaiming "I AM KENJI." (Asahi)
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Monday the arrest of a former organized crime member for the sale of stimulant drugs to musician Aska two years ago, reports Nippon News Network (Jan. 26). (Tokyo Reporter)
Fukuoka Prefectural Police on Monday took the acting chairman of the Kudo-kai organized crime group into custody for allegedly blackmailing the owner of a building, reports the Yommiuri Shimbun (Jan. 26). (Tokyo Reporter)
Crown Prince Naruhito met Saudi Arabia's new King Salman in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Sunday and expressed his condolences over the death of King Abdullah, who passed away on Friday. (The Japan News)
A fire drill was conducted at Horyuji temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Ikaruga, Nara Prefecture, on Monday, which was Cultural Property Fire Prevention Day. About 100 personnel participated, including temple priests and local firemen. (The Japan News)
The Islamic State beheaded one of the two Japanese citizens it has been holding, but signaled a potential willingness to negotiate over the fate of the other one - offering a tiny sliver of hope to a Japan reeling from shock and grief. (foreignpolicy.com)