A high-ranking foreign ministry official will become Japan’s new top diplomat, after his predecessor resigned over the weekend for accepting illegal political donations, the government announced Wednesday.
State Secretary Takeaki Matsumoto will be promoted to foreign minister later Wednesday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said. He will replace Seiji Maehara, who stepped down Sunday for receiving political donations from a foreigner, which is prohibited in Japan.
The government moved quickly to replace Maehara, who served in the post for just six months. His sudden resignation was a blow to Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s beleaguered government, which is facing public approval ratings below 20 percent.
Kan, who is trying to pass key legislation for his new budget through a gridlocked parliament, had promised to root out "money politics" after a veteran power broker in his party was caught up in a funding scandal.
Read the rest of the story: Japan’s government selects new foreign minister.