St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Letter to the editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message

Scandals plague Japan's leadership

Associated Press
Published September 2, 2007


TOKYO - Japan's agricultural minister acknowledged Saturday that a private farming group he leads exaggerated crop damage in order to receive government compensation, in the latest political scandal to embarrass Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration.

The statement came just days after Abe reshuffled his Cabinet following a humiliating upper house electoral loss in July, blamed on a spate of scandals within his government. Two more political fund scandals involving Abe's ruling party lawmakers also emerged Saturday.

Agriculture Minister Takehiko Endo acknowledged that the agriculture cooperative in his home state of Yamagata, which he has headed for 25 years, collected $9,930 in government payments by overstating weather damage done to the 1999 grape harvest.

Endo said he will resign as head of the local farming group, but refused to step down as the agriculture minister.

Vice Foreign Minister Yukiko Sakamoto, a political appointee, acknowledged her support group faked political funds reports in 2004 and 2005 to enter fictitious lecture costs, and Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Mitsuhide Iwaki said he mistakenly reported fundraising ticket sales as political donations.

[Last modified September 2, 2007, 01:58:40]

Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters