Japan's foreign minister quits over illegal donation
Japan's foreign minister suddenly quit yesterday for having accepted a political donation from a foreigner -- a violation of Japanese law -- dealing another blow to the embattled administration of Prime Minister Naoto Kan.
Seiji Maehara (48) was foreign minister for just six months, and was a leading candidate to succeed Mr Kan.
Mr Maehara acknowledged receiving 50,000 yen (€434) last year from a 72-year-old Korean woman who has lived most of her life in Japan. He said they had been friends since his childhood.
Some Japanese newspapers, however, said her donations over the past several years totalled 250,000 yen (€2,170).
Atsuo Ito, an independent political analyst, said his resignation was inevitable to save Mr Kan's government from further trouble.