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Japan's scandal-hit farm minister resigns

  • Story Highlights
  • Japan's scandal-tainted Agriculture Minister Norihiko Akagi resigns
  • Resignation comes days after LDP's upper house election defeat
  • Election defeat sparked partly by public anger over financial scandals
  • Akagi had been in spotlight over discrepancies in his political fund records
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TOKYO, Japan (Reuters) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has accepted the resignation of his scandal-tainted farm minister, the top government spokesman said on Wednesday, days after the ruling coalition suffered an election drubbing.

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Agriculture Minister Norihiko Akagi had been in the spotlight over discrepancies in his political fund records.

Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lost its majority in a crushing upper house election defeat on Sunday sparked partly by public anger over financial scandals.

Agriculture Minister Norihiko Akagi had been pursued by domestic media over discrepancies in his political fund records since he was appointed in June after the suicide of his predecessor amid a separate financial scandal.

"There were various reports about me in the media and this affected the election campaign," Akagi told reporters.

"It cannot be denied that this was one factor in the defeat of the ruling coalition. I apologize sincerely. I wanted to draw a line under this," he said.

The result of the upper house election could lead to a period of policy stagnation and there have been calls from within the ruling coalition for Abe himself to step down. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

Copyright 2007 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

All About Liberal Democratic Party of JapanShinzo AbePrime Minister Shinzo Abe's CabinetJapan

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