Japan’s biggest opposition parties Sunday called on Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara to resign for accepting donations from a foreign national, piling more pressure on the embattled government of Prime Minister Naoto Kan.
Maehara, a security hawk who is often cited as a possible successor to the unpopular Kan, has said he would not quit, but added that it was up to the prime minister to decide his fate.
Maehara’s resignation would be a blow to Kan and his ruling Democratic Party (DPJ) as the prime minister fights to keep his own job and avoid calling a snap election while trying to enact budget bills in a divided parliament.
"A foreign minister is at the forefront of negotiations with foreign countries. If a person in that post has taken donations from foreign nationals, resignation is unavoidable," Yosuke Takagi, acting secretary-general of the New Komeito party, said in a televised debate.
New Komeito is the second-largest opposition behind the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
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