Abe Defending Labor Minister for Fear of Resignation Dominoes

Politics

Tokyo, Feb. 3 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is defending embattled labor minister Takumi Nemoto for fear of a domino effect that may be sparked off if Nemoto resigns, informed sources say.

Abe's previous administration was short-lived, ending in September 2007 after seeing one cabinet minister resign after another due to scandals.

To prevent a repeat of the nightmare, Abe is trying to underline that the labor ministry's statistics debacle is a long-term problem going back before his Liberal Democratic Party regained power from the now-defunct Democratic Party of Japan in 2012.

"Wrong handling has continued for a long time. We bear responsibility for failing to recognize it, and I take that seriously," Abe told the Diet, the country's parliament, Thursday.

Nemoto is under fire over the ministry's use of inappropriate methods in labor surveys that are among the government's fundamental statistics.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press