Inada Quits as Defense Minister over Cover-Up Scandal (News)
Tokyo, July 28 (Jiji Press)—Inada Tomomi resigned as Japanese defense minister on Friday over a data cover-up scandal involving the Ground Self-Defense Force, dealing a further blow to Prime Minister Abe Shinzō's faltering administration.
Inada submitted her resignation to the prime minister on the day when the release of a special investigation confirmed the cover-up of daily activity logs from GSDF engineering troops on a UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan that revealed the dangers the troops faced in the conflict-torn African nation.
The internal probe stopped short of backing up allegations that Inada played a role in keeping the logs undisclosed, although it failed to dispel the suspicion.
"This is a grave problem that could damage the people's trust and affect morale in the SDF," Inada told a press conference. "I feel deeply responsible for this," she stressed.
After accepting her resignation, Abe told reporters: "I sincerely apologize to the people. I totally accept my responsibility as the person who appointed her."