Japan's farm minister resigns amid political funds questions

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's agriculture minister has resigned following questions over his handling of political funding contributions.

Koya Nishikawa, who heads the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said Monday that he wanted to avoid disruptions to parliamentary proceedings and had chosen to leave the government.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that he had resisted, but in the end accepted Nishikawa's resignation. Abe said he was appointing lawmaker Yoshimasa Hayashi, who preceded Nishikawa as farm minister before a Cabinet reshuffle in September, to resume the post.

Questions arose over an alleged 1 million yen ($8,400) donation to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party from a company run by a sugar manufacturers association that had received government subsidies.