Japan trade minister resigns

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Japanese Trade Minister Isshu Sugawara resigned on Friday, following accusations of election law violations just a month after taking up the key post charged with handling a trade dispute with neighbouring South Korea.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he had accepted Sugawara’s resignation and asked Hiroshi Kajiyama to take the helm at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Sugawara had been under pressure after media said he had given gifts to voters in his Tokyo constituency, such as expensive melons and crabs, and offered condolence money to the family of a supporter, in possible violations of campaign law.

Sugawara needed to provide an explanation, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga had said the previous day.


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