Amari quits over scandal / Ishihara to step in as TPP signing nears
the-japan-news.com -- Jan 29
Economic revitalization minister Akira Amari, who has been embroiled in a money-for-favors scandal, announced Thursday that he will resign.

Amari's departure will likely cast a shadow on the economic policy promoted by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Abe later picked former Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Nobuteru Ishihara to succeed Amari. Amari is the first minister to resign in the reshuffled third Abe Cabinet, which was inaugurated in October last year.

The opposition parties are likely to grill Abe for his responsibility for appointing Amari during a meeting of the House of Representatives Budget Committee that starts on Friday.

"This has affected Diet deliberations. As minister Akira Amari, who is supposed to play a key role to support the Abe administration but has created a drag on it, this is a situation that I truly can't endure," Amari said at a press conference at the Cabinet Office on Thursday evening. "The budget and key legislation must pass quickly during the current Diet session. I can't become a factor that will hamper that."

"Even though I was not involved, this [matter] has been brought about under my supervisory responsibility. I can't shift the responsibility to my secretaries," he said.

However, Amari, 66, said he will not quit as a lawmaker.

甘利経済再生担当大臣は金銭授受を巡る疑惑について説明する会見を開き、辞意を表明し­ました。会見の模様をノーカットで配信します。
News sources: the-japan-news.com, ANNnewsCH
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