Resignation of Scandal-Hit Japanese Finance Official Approved


Tokyo, April 24 (Jiji Press)--Japan's cabinet on Tuesday approved the resignation of Vice Finance Minister Junichi Fukuda, who last week offered to quit over his alleged sexually harassing remarks.

The resignation of Fukuda, 58, deals an additional blow to his boss, Finance Minister Taro Aso, as his ministry has already been under fire for its manipulation of documents related to a controversial cut-price sale of government land to school operator Moritomo Gakuen.

Aso, who doubles as deputy prime minister and is a close ally of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is expected to come under increased pressure to step down. At a news conference, Aso said Fukuda's resignation is "extremely regrettable," but he reiterated that he himself has no plans to quit.

Aso said his ministry will uncover the truth about Fukuda's alleged sexual harassment and take disciplinary action against him depending on the result.

According to the ministry, disciplinary action cannot be taken against government employees who have resigned, but a certain amount can be deducted from their retirement allowance with their consent.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press