Japan Govt Official Resigns over "Sontaku" Remark
Tokyo, April 5 (Jiji Press)--A senior official of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration resigned on Friday, after suggesting that he acted voluntarily for the interests of Abe and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso over a road project.
The resignation of Ichiro Tsukada, 55, as state minister of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism was an effective dismissal by Abe amid growing concerns within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party about possible adverse implications in a series of local elections later this month and a House of Councillors poll in the summer.
The development deals a blow to the administration, which enjoyed a boost amid a celebratory mood following the announcement of the new era name, Reiwa, on Monday.
Tsukada has been under fire for claiming that his "sontaku," or voluntary action, in favor of Abe and Aso was behind a government plan to conduct a feasibility study on the road project in the southwestern region including the constituencies of the two top officials.
"All cabinet ministers, state ministers and parliamentary vice ministers must straighten up and devote themselves completely to fulfilling duties entrusted by the nation," Abe told reporters.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]