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Tuesday, 23rd October 2012
In General Japan News,

Justice minister resigns after mob tie allegations

Japanese justice minister, Keishu Tanaka resigned from his post on Tuesday citing health reasons, however media reports attribute this action to the alleged discovery of his former ties to organised crime. 

Tanaka was appointed justice minister on October 1st following a cabinet reshuffle and is now the second minister to resign since prime minister Yoshihiko Noda took office in September 2011.

A magazine accused the former minister of being linked with the Yakuza crime syndicate.

Calls to resign were followed by the 74 year-old being admitted into a Tokyo hospital with high blood pressure, chest pains and an irregular heartbeat last Friday (October 19th).

Tanaka admitted to receiving a 420,000 yen (£3284) donation from a foreigner between 2006 and 2009, even though this is illegal if knowingly accepted. He claimed he returned this money when he realised.

The former minister also acknowledged that he was involved in organising the wedding of a mobster approximately three decades ago, however he also claimed that he was not aware of the man's connections to organised crime.

"The resignation is likely to further weaken Noda's support within his party. Obviously, it will become more difficult for him to exert leadership," said Mikitaka Masuyama, a professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.

Posted by Graham McPherson

Related news stories:
Makoto Taki named as Japan's new justice minister (25th October 2012)