TOKYO: Under-fire Japanese industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said he would continue in his cabinet duties and will fully disclose his finances at an appropriate time, local media reported on Sunday (Dec 10), amid allegations of undeclared funding that has embroiled several top lawmakers.
“I have not been told anything to the contrary at this time, so I would like to continue with my duties,” Nishimura told reporters on Sunday at a news conference in Ibaraki Prefecture, north of Tokyo, according to the Nikkei newspaper and Kyodo.
“I am closely examining my own political financing report, and would like to provide a thorough explanation at the appropriate time,” the news outlets reported him as saying.
The Asahi and Mainichi newspapers reported earlier on Sunday that Nishimura, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) policy chief Koichi Hagiuda are among cabinet members set to be replaced by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida following media reports that they may have pocketed more than ¥100 million (US$689,988) of fundraising proceeds that were left off the books.
Tokyo prosecutors are looking to investigate lawmakers after the current session of parliament ends on Wednesday, local media reported.
Public support for Kishida’s government has slid to a record low, partly due to voter worries over rising costs and looming tax hikes.