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Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose resigns over money scandal

From Junko Ogura, CNN and Naomi Ng for CNN
updated 3:24 AM EST, Thu December 19, 2013
Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose bows at a press conference announcing his resignation on December 19.
Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose bows at a press conference announcing his resignation on December 19.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose resigns after admitting involvement in money scandal
  • He admitted receiving 50 million yen from a scandal-hit hospital operator
  • Inose says he does not want to interrupt operations as Tokyo prepares for the 2020 Olympics

(CNN) -- Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose announced his resignation Thursday after admitting he received money from a hospital operator prior to his election last year.

"I have confirmed my determination to resign as Tokyo Governor," he said during a press conference after handing in his letter of resignation to the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly.

Inose admitted to receiving 50 million yen (U.S. $480,150) from Tokushukai, a hospital operator involved in vote-buying allegations.

"I should not have borrowed the money," Inose said.

He said it was a personal loan and not in any way linked to his election campaign. He added that the money has already been returned.

"I have tried hard to demonstrate my accountability, but unfortunately it wasn't enough to clear away suspicions against me."

The governor was seen to have played a crucial role in securing Tokyo's successful bid to host the 2020 Olympics in September, The Japan Times reported.

"I don't want to further interrupt the operations of the administration as Tokyo prepares for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics," he said at the press conference.

"I offer a deep apology," he said, bowing deeply.

It is likely that a special election will be arranged to choose Inose's successor in the coming February, according to The Japan Times.

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