Kishida Sacks Minister Yamagiwa amid Unification Church Row


Tokyo, Oct. 24 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida approved the resignation of economic revitalization minister Daishiro Yamagiwa on Monday, amid growing criticism over Yamagiwa's past ties with the controversial religious group known as the Unification Church.

Kishida apparently dismissed Yamagiwa over the matter. The prime minister plans to announce the successor to the resigned minister on Tuesday.

Yamagiwa became the first member of Kishida's cabinet to resign to take responsibility for a scandal. His departure is likely to deal a blow to Kishida.

"I accepted the (resignation) offer, so we can focus on key issues," the prime minister told reporters, referring to a planned comprehensive economic package and relief measures for people suffering from so-called spiritual sales by the Unification Church and others.

Asked about the prime minister's responsibility for appointing Yamagiwa to a ministerial post, Kishida said, "I want to fulfill my duty all the more as I surely feel (the responsibility)."

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Jiji Press