Third Japanese minister faces spending scandal

Trade and Industry Minister Yoichi Miyazawa, appointed Tuesday, faces scandal over bar payment

Third Japanese minister faces spending scandal

The Japanese government is facing its third spending scandal in less than a week after the office of the trade minister admitted paying money to a sex bar, the Japan Times reported Thursday.

Yoichi Miyazawa was appointed trade and industry minister on Tuesday after former incumbent Yuko Obuchi resigned over alleged misuse of political funds by support groups.

Kyodo News reported that an entry in Miyazawa’s official political fund report for 2010 showed a 18,230 yen ($170) payment to Mazan, an adult-entertainment bar in Hiroshima.

Miyazawa told reporters he knew nothing of the payment. “I swear I didn’t go there,” he said. “I’ve never even heard of the bar’s name.”

Shigeru Muta, a secretary to Miyazawa, told the Times the expense related to a staff member’s private visit and denied that the minister had been to the bar.

Obuchi and Justice Minister Midori Matsushima stepped down Monday having been appointed by Liberal Democratic Party Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Sept. 7. The resignations were seen as a blow to Abe’s policy of empowering women, known as “womenomics.”

Matsushima quit over an alleged violation of the election campaign law.

The Times cited Hiroshi Kamiwaki, professor of law at Kobe Gakuin University, as saying the chief accountant in Miyazawa’s office is unlikely to be punished because of the small amount involved and the expense had been correctly recorded.

He told the Times that political parties in Japan receive huge amounts of state money to support political activity.

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Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Ekim 2014, 15:34

Muhammed Öylek

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