Japanese industry minister vows to fulfil cabinet duties amidst funding controversy

Japanese industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura

10th December 2023 – (Hong Kong) Japanese industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura has declared his intention to continue fulfilling his cabinet duties and has assured the public that he will disclose his finances in due course, according to local media reports on Sunday. Nishimura’s statement comes in the midst of allegations surrounding undeclared funding that has implicated several high-ranking lawmakers.

During a news conference in Ibaraki Prefecture, north of Tokyo, Nishimura addressed the press, stating, “At this time, I have not received any indication to the contrary, and therefore, I would like to continue with my duties.” His remarks were reported by the Nikkei newspaper and Kyodo news agency.

Nishimura further emphasized that he is thoroughly examining his own political financing report and intends to provide a comprehensive explanation at the appropriate time. The minister’s commitment to transparency aims to address concerns raised by recent media coverage.

Earlier on Sunday, the Asahi and Mainichi newspapers reported that Nishimura, along with Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) policy chief Koichi Hagiuda, are among the cabinet members expected to be replaced by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. The potential reshuffling comes in light of media reports suggesting that these lawmakers may have failed to report over ¥100 million (US$689,988) of fundraising proceeds.

Local media has also reported that Tokyo prosecutors are preparing to investigate the implicated lawmakers once the current parliamentary session concludes on Wednesday. The investigation is expected to shed light on the allegations surrounding the undeclared funding.