Japan's industry minister's staff spent money at sex bar
The Guardian -- Oct 23
Japan has been stung by its third political scandal in a week after the country's new industry minister - whose predecessor resigned over allegations of misspending - admitted that his staff had spent office money at a sex bar.

The revelations deal another blow to the administration of the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, which was already facing a backlash over its attempt to turn Japan's nuclear reactors back on and its stalling plans to revive the economy.

As news of the sex-bar scandal broke, industry minister Yoichi Miyazawa, a Harvard graduate and former top bureaucrat in the finance ministry, distanced himself from the affair, saying he wasn't present at the club in the city of Hiroshima.

But he acknowledged that some staff from his office had billed 18,230 yen ($170) as entertainment expenses during a visit in September 2010, Jiji Press news agency said.

"I came to know of that through a media report, and it was true," Miyazawa said in Tokyo on Thursday. "It is also true that I myself was not there," he added.

It was not immediately clear if Miyazawa - a nephew of late prime minister Kiichi Miyazawa and a cousin of foreign minister Fumio Kishida - would step down.

宮沢経済産業大臣は、自身の資金管理団体がSMバーに政治活動費を支出していた問題に­ついて、秘書が政治活動として利用したものであることを明らかにしました。

News sources: The Guardian, ANNnewsCH
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