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Scandal Ridden Japanese Minister Commits Suicide

Monday, May 28, 2007 Posted: 04:03 PM JST

Japanese Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Toshikatsu Matsuoka committed suicide today. He was found at his apartment at 12:18 PM Japanese time and taken to a Tokyo Hospital. At 2:00 PM he was declared dead.

Matsuoka was in the news almost daily the past few weeks because of excessive use of public funds and the acceptance of illegal donations. He refused to clarify the situation and came under intense pressure from opposition parties to take responsibility.

Even his own party, the LDP, was starting to turn against him, afraid that the negative publicity would badly influence the LDP's chances for this Summer's important elections.

Prime Minister Abe staunchly defended Matsuoka during his travails. Matsuoka's suicide will certainly be interpreted as an admission of guilt and could affect Abe's popularity.

Related headlines:

Still can't say where the money went
The Japan Times

Matsuoka tells Diet he won't talk about office expenses
The Japan Times

EDITORIAL: Forest road bid-rigging
Asahi Shimbun

EDITORIAL: Political funds scandal
Asahi Shimbun

Politicians' loose handling of money must end
Asahi Shimbun

Scandal-struck Farm Minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka attempts suicide
Mainichi Daily News

Keywords: national_news political_news

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The now legendary Sir Ernest Mason Satow (1843-1929) was a member of the British legation in Tokyo for twenty-one years. This classic book is based on the author's detailed diary, personal encounters, and keen memory. In it, Satow records the history of the critical years of social and political upheaval that accompanied Japan's first encounters with the West around the time of the Meiji Restoration. Fascinating.
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