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Japan Economy Minister Isshu Sugawara resigns amid irregular donations claims

According to national broadcaster NHK, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has accepted his resignation.

SNS | New Delhi |

Japan Economy and trade and industry ministry Isshu Sugawara resigned from his post on Friday amid allegations of irregular donations.

Sugawara, 57, had taken over the ministry during the latest reshuffle of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government on September 11, and had been a legislator for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party since 2003, Efe news reported.

According to national broadcaster NHK, Abe has accepted his resignation, adding that Sugawara will be replaced in the Ministry by Hiroshi Kajiyama, formerly Minister in charge of Regulatory Reform.

Earlier on Thursday, Sugawara’s secretary had offered a condolence gift of 20,000 yen ($184) to the family of a deceased voter in his Tokyo constituency, weekly tabloid magazine Shukan Bunshun reported.

However, the country’s election law bans donations to voters due to the fear that they may raise suspicions of vote-buying unless the senior official personally attends a wedding or funeral and gives the gift in person.

In the case of the condolence money, Sugawara claimed that he was unable to attend the funeral on that date due to his official activities, but that he visited the deceased supporter’s relatives the following day.

(With inputs from IANS)