Japanese Prime Minister Kishida apologizes for Cabinet minister's resignation

TOKYO, Oct 26 (NHK) - Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio on Tuesday named a replacement for his Economic Revitalization Minister. Yamagiwa Daishiro resigned Monday after heated opposition criticism for his links to the religious group formerly known as the Unification Church.

It had been revealed that he attended multiple meetings of the church and related organizations and met at least twice with the widow of the church's founder.

Yamagiwa had repeatedly said he didn't recall the events.

At the Lower House session on Tuesday, opposition parties criticized Kishida for letting Yamagiwa stay on too long.

Ohsaka Seiji of the Constitutional Democratic Party said, "Yamagiwa responded by saying over and over again that he had no recollection. The public got sick and tired of hearing his totally irresponsible reply."

Asano Satoshi of the Democratic Party for the People criticized Kishida saying, "Prime Minister Kishida is also to blame for what has happened, because he was so slow to make an important personnel decision."

Kishida says he takes seriously the fact that he appointed Yamagiwa to a cabinet post in the first place.

He said, "I will accept the criticism from the opposition, and work extra hard to ensure that there will be no delay in implementing all important policy programs that the government is working on."

Kishida appointed former health minister Goto Shigeyuki of the Liberal Democratic Party as the new economic revitalization minister. ...continue reading