Three ministers lost in the span of a single month: Japan
Internal Affairs Minister Minoru Terada admits to violation of political funds and resigns from the Japanese cabinet.
The third member of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's cabinet to resign in less than a month is Japan's interior minister, Minoru Terada, who resigned on Sunday in the wake of several scandals involving campaign money.
Allegations of political fund mismanagement led to Terada's resignation. His local campaign group had even designated a deceased individual as its treasurer in annual financial documents, as he had admitted before parliament.
Illegal payments to staff during his reelection campaign last year were among the other charges made public by the weekly Shukan Bunshun magazine.
"I just tendered (my) resignation to the prime minister," Terada told the press on Sunday night, adding "I felt my problems over political funds must not become a hindrance" to parliament. Terada's resignation took place on the last day of Kishida's diplomatic visit to Thailand for an APEC conference and just before parliament began debating the new budget.
The succession of ministerial resignations, termed "resignation dominoes" by Japanese media, would put more pressure on Kishida. According to the most recent NHK survey, Kishida's government has a barely-positive popularity rating of 30%, which is the lowest level since he entered office last year.
Following Kishida's acceptance of Tereda's resignation, he told a press conference "I would like to apologize deeply for the fact that a series of cabinet ministers ended up resigning during the parliamentary session," and further promised he would do all it takes to produce results in the future as he explained that a successor will be named on Monday.
Earlier on Saturday, Kishida indicated that he expected Terada, whose ministry is responsible for everything from election management to telecommunications, to "thoroughly fulfill his responsibility to explain himself."
Terada had previously resisted calls for his resignation, citing the accusation as "clerical mistakes."
Daishiro Yamagiwa, the minister of economic revitalization who faced criticism for alleged ties to the Unification Church, resigned from his position in late October.
Since the death of former prime minister Shinzo Abe in July, the church and its long-standing connections to politicians have been under increased scrutiny.
The public's opinion of the government has also been harmed by the disclosure of tight ties between numerous officials and the church.
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