04. 2014年10月23日 22:26:08
Minister in S&M bar scandal
Japan's new industry minister admits some of his staff spent political funds at a bondage-themed sex bar.
Japan's new trade minister admits political support group spent office cash at Hiroshima bondage club
Updated about 4 hours agoThu 23 Oct 2014, 5:54pm
Japanese lawmaker Yoichi Miyazawa
Photo: Yoichi Miyazawa was appointed as Japan's new economy, trade and industry minister on Tuesday. (AFP: Jiji Press: Japan Out)
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Japan's new industry minister has admitted that some of his staff spent office money at a sex bar, the third political scandal to hit the Japanese cabinet this week.
Yoichi Miyazawa said he learned from a news report that his political support group billed 18,230 yen ($170) as entertainment expenses during a visit to a sadomasochism-themed club Hiroshima in September 2010.
The venue's shows depict women being tied up with ropes and whipped.
The 64-year-old veteran MP immediately distanced himself from the scandal, saying he was not present at the club.
"I came to know of that through a media report, and it was true," Mr Miyazawa told reporters in Tokyo on Thursday.
"It is also true that I myself was not there," he added.
It was not immediately clear if Mr Miyazawa, a nephew of late prime minister Kiichi Miyazawa and a cousin of foreign minister Fumio Kishida, would step down.
Mr Miyazawa was nominated to replace industry minister Yuko Obuchi, who resigned on Tuesday over claims she misspent political funds.
Justice minister Midori Matsushima also quit after days of allegations that she had misspent money in what opponents insisted was an attempt to buy votes.
The double resignations marked a blow to Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe's proclaimed gender reforms, while commentators said his administration could be in trouble if their replacements did not have solid reputations.
Mr Abe himself was forced to resign in 2007, only a year into his first premiership, after several of his ministers were hammered by political scandals.