TOKYO, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Sunday evening affirmed his plan to appoint Takeaki Matsumoto, former foreign minister, as the country’s new internal affairs minister.
This came after Minoru Terada was sacked by Kishida earlier in the day amid mounting pressure due to a fund-related scandal and declining support for his cabinet.
The replacement will be formally announced on Monday morning, according to local media.
Matsumoto, now 63 and a lawmaker of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), served as minister for Foreign Affairs in 2011.
Terada, who submitted his resignation on Sunday, is alleged to have “falsely reported” expenses to the tune of 1 million yen (about 7,000 U.S. dollars) connected to last year’s lower house election, with the tab picked up by one of his support groups.
Citing a legal expert, an online article by the Shukan Bunshun weekly magazine said Terada’s report on his election campaign expenses violated Japan’s public offices election law.
The departure of scandal-hit Terada is a fresh blow to the prime minister as he was the third member of the cabinet to leave in less than a month, following the resignation of two other ministers due to blunders or close ties to the Unification Church.