After only a few months in the job, Defence Minister Yuriko Koike wants out:
Japan’s defence chief wants to leave job
Fri Aug 24, 9:37 AM ET
TOKYO (AFP) – Japan’s defence minister said Friday she wants to leave her position when embattled Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reshuffles his cabinet next week in a bid to salvage his government.
Abe’s first cabinet was plagued by scandal. Media reports have speculated that some top candidates for ministerial posts were hoping not to be tapped, fearing that his government will not last.
Defence Minister Yuriko Koike, often seen as a rising star in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, cited a scandal at the defence ministry over leakage of sensitive information about US-designed Aegis destroyers.
“I want to take responsibility,” Koike told reporters on a visit to New Delhi, as quoted by Jiji Press. “I want to hand over the baton.”
Koike is Japan’s first female defence chief. A former television anchorwoman, she speaks fluent English and Arabic.
But she has also been embroiled in a widely publicised battle about appointments at her ministry.
Koike took office only in July after her predecessor quit over remarks suggesting that the US nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were justified.
Abe, in Kuala Lumpur at the end of a three-nation tour to Indonesia, India and Malaysia, declined to discuss the reshuffle in detail but said he wanted the new cabinet to pursue “reforms” and boost regional economies.
A ruling party panel tasked with reviewing the election results offered unusual public criticism of the premier Friday.
“People had doubts about his leadership and ability to govern due to his slow response to scandals and lenient measures towards those who were involved in them,” the report said.
The review called on the cabinet to strengthen crisis management.
In his less than a year in office, Abe has seen three of his ministers quit and another commit suicide over gaffes or money scandals.
I imagine she’ll get her wish. It is just another embarrassment for Abe who has been digging in for the past few weeks. I’ll wait until we hear about a successor before I say anything further.