Japanese minister ‘kills himself’
Toshikatsu Matsuoka was embroiled in a financial scandal
Japan’s Agriculture Minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka has died in hospital after reportedly committing suicide.
The 62-year-old was found hanged in his Tokyo apartment hours before he was to face questions in parliament over his links to a political funding scandal.
Efforts to resuscitate him at hospital failed. Officials said police were still investigating the cause of death.
Opposition MPs had been calling for his resignation over unexplained expenses claimed for a rent-free office.
Scandals and gaffes
“We’ve confirmed that Agriculture Minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka is dead. We are greatly saddened,” said government spokesman Yasuhisa Shiozaki.
Mr Matsuoka had allegedly claimed more than 28m yen ($236,600; Â£118,300) in utility fees at his parliamentary office, where utility costs are free. He denied any wrong-doing.
He had previously refused to explain the expenses to a parliamentary committee but the Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, defended him, saying he had fulfilled his legal responsibilities.
Mr Abe’s eight-month premiership has been rocked by a series of scandals and gaffes.
Support for Japan’s government has fallen to its lowest level since he took office, a new poll suggests.
28m yes = 118,300 British Pound = 174,716 Euro.
And hurrah for another tribunal section starting up.
The Taoiseach’s finances are among the main issues under investigation at the latest phase of the Mahon Tribunal into alleged political corruption.
The long-awaited Quarryvale Two module, which got underway this morning, is examining the development of the Liffey Valley shopping centre in west Dublin in the 1990s.
Property developer Tom Gilmartin claims Bertie Ahern received â‚¬80,000 from businessman Owen O’Callaghan to pave the way for the project.
However, both Mr Ahern and Mr O’Callaghan have vehemently denied the accusation.
In the opening statement of the latest module today, the tribunal said it would be examining five substantial lodgements to bank accounts in the name of Mr Ahern and his daughter between 1993 and 1995.
The lodgements total more than â‚¬116,000.
Mr Ahern is expected to be called to give evidence in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, tribunal chairman Alan Mahon used the resumption of public hearings today to condemn the leaking of confidential information from the inquiry about Mr Ahern’s finances.
He said he was carrying out an investigation to try to identify the source of the leaks.
ok it is not 28m yen but surely it should be enough for person with any honour or integrity to consider saving some face. Not necessarily by cutting his own off by certainly by getting it out of politics.