London [U.K.] : Japan’s defence minister, Tomomi Inada, resigned over charges of helping cover up internal records which showed the dangers being faced by Japanese peacekeepers in South Sudan.
This development has come as another blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is witnessing his cabinet’s popularity plummet to the lowest level since he returned to the prime ministership in 2012, reports the Guardian.
Inada’s resignation also comes at a particularly tense time with North Korea, which recently tested a missile possibly capable of targeting Alaska.
The time of her resignation coincides with the investigation findings into how details of the South Sudan peacekeeping mission were concealed from the public, and also as Abe prepares to reshuffle his cabinet and the top ranks of the Liberal Democratic party next week.
Instead of disclosing the internal records from South Sudan, Inada told Parliament they had been discarded, but later reversed herself which promptly created charges of a cover-up.
After submitting her resignation, Inada asserted in a news conference that she did not knowingly withheld information, but admitted said she felt “painfully responsible” for the debacle.