Four ministers from Japan’s ruling coalition have resigned. They announced their resignation on Thursday after allegations of misappropriation of funds were raised. Prosecutors in Tokyo said a corruption investigation had already begun against them. This information was reported by the British media BBC with reference to Nikkei Asia.
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said that three other ministers including him have already resigned. They are Finance and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, International Affairs Minister Junji Suzuki and Agriculture Minister Ichiro Miyashita.
The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has long been in power in Japan. These four ministers have been accused of embezzling 500 million yen from the party. The popularity of LDP has collapsed. A poll published last Wednesday showed that the LDP’s popularity has dropped by 30 percent since 2012.
Prosecutors said government offices would be raided later this week and several suspected lawmakers would be questioned.
Meanwhile, five other deputy ministers, including Michiko Ueno, special adviser to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, are also expected to resign. Japanese government chief spokesman Matsuno has hinted at their resignation. He said, I also have doubts about the embezzlement of political funds. The matter is under investigation.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said, “I will make every effort to restore people’s confidence in the leadership of LDP.” We will certainly deal with the complaints raised.
The LDP has been in power in Japan continuously since 1955. However, recently due to inflation and money scandals of government ministers, people’s trust in the party is decreasing by one-third. Meanwhile, the mass resignation of ministers has put the government under more pressure.
In 2022, the LDP organized a cultural event to raise their political funds, Japanese media NHK reported. It was alleged that the leaders and activists in charge of organizing and selling the tickets embezzled 500 million yen. Those four ministers were forced to resign because of that complaint.