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Japan names new foreign minister

By the CNN Wire Staff
Japan's new Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto in a file picture at the United Nations Security Council on November 16, 2010.
Japan's new Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto in a file picture at the United Nations Security Council on November 16, 2010.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The former minister was under scrutiny for a political contribution he received
  • The contribution came from a foreigner living in Japan
  • He announced his resignation Sunday
RELATED TOPICS

Tokyo (CNN) -- Japan on Wednesday named a new foreign minister, three days after a political scandal toppled his predecessor.

Vice Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto will succeed Seiji Maehara, officials said.

"I'm apologizing to the people of Japan for this political uneasiness," Maehara said at the Sunday news conference at which his resignation was announced.

The foreign minister had been under scrutiny for a political contribution he received from a South Korean living in Japan.

Under Japanese law, politicians cannot accept any money from foreigners. The money given to Maehara, 250,000 yen ($3,000) over several years, came from a lifelong friend.

Maehara had met with Japan's prime minister to alert him of his decision and had the leader's consent to do so, a foreign ministry spokesman said.

He had been in office for six months. He was appointed in September, when Prime Minister Naoto Kan reshuffled his Cabinet to consolidate his power base after a landslide win to lead his party.

Maehara formerly served as the minister for land, infrastructure, transport and tourism.

CNN's Kyung Lah contributed to this report.

 
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