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Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan Yuko Obuchi resigned

Oct 20, 2014 13:00 IST

Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan Yuko Obuchi on 20 October 2014 resigned from her position following the allegations that her support groups misused political funds.

Yuko Obuchi was one of five women appointed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a cabinet reshuffle in September 2014.

Being the head of the powerful Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Obuchi was tasked to work on Abe’s unpopular plan to restart nuclear reactors that were shut down after the 2011 Fukushima disaster. However, the controversy could hamper this plan to reboot reactors.


Background
Media reports of Obuchi’s funding irregularities came on 16 October 2014. On 18 October 2014, it was reported that two Obuchi political groups spent 43 million yen on annual theatre events between 2009 and 2011 and kept no record of spending on the 2012 event.

An examination of records had uncovered questionable outlays for the theatre events. However, it would be a violation of the law if her political groups made additional payments.

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