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Japan PM’s new minister hit by scandal over racy bar bill via Reuters

(Reuters) – Japan’s new trade minister on Thursday called his support group’s spending at a racy bar “inappropriate,” but declined to sell shares in Tokyo Electric Power, the operator of the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant his ministry supervises.

The revelations about the trade minister come as a blow for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after his cabinet suffered two high-profile resignations this week over separate funding scandals.
Abe’s administration has been pushing to restart nuclear plants more than three years after the devastating Fukushima disaster. As the head of the powerful trade and industry ministry, Miyazawa will be in charge of key decisions on energy policy and the reopening of idled reactors across Japan.

Miyazawa, 64, said he learned from news reports of the 18,230 yen ($170) that the support group spent at the sadomasochism-themed bar in his political district of Hiroshima.
Miyazawa also admitted on Thursday to owning shares in the de facto nationalized Tokyo Electric Power Co, the operator of the destroyed Fukushima plant that the trade ministry oversees.

While it is not illegal for him to hold such shares, it is customary in Japan for politicians to divest them when assuming a cabinet post.

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4 Responses

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  1. norma field says

    Reuters is right to put the TEPCO shares in the top paragraph. This is giving up on even the appearance of propriety!

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