29 July 2017

News Story: Questions raised over Abe's responsibility after defense chief Inada forced to resign

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's decision to practically force Defense Minister Tomomi Inada out over allegations of a cover-up involving peacekeepers' logs will inevitably call into question the prime minister's responsibility for appointing her.

Inada handed Abe her resignation letter on July 28 and is set to step down before the prime minister reshuffles his Cabinet, which is expected on Aug. 3.

The decision comes only a few days after the prime minister dismissed opposition parties' demands that Inada be discharged from her post. "I'd like her to fulfill her responsibility by thoroughly investigating the case and implementing measures to prevent a recurrence," Abe told an out-of-session meeting of the House of Councillors Budget Committee on July 25. Inada also told her aides that she would stay on until Aug. 3.

However, some news outlets recently reported the existence of a handwritten note by a Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) officer stating that the organization had informed Inada of the existence of the logs on Feb. 13.

Defense Minister Tomomi Inada
(Image: Wiki Commons)
The news reports have damaged the credibility of Inada's claim that she had never been notified of the logs, sparking calls within the ruling coalition urging her to step down.

Inada decided to step down apparently at the strong urging of Abe. After Inada and Defense Ministry Inspector General Michio Kitamura briefed Abe on July 27 of the ministry's special inspection on the alleged cover-up, the prime minister and the defense minister are believed to have discussed whether she should resign.

Read the full story at The Mainichi

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