Japan Finance Minister returns year's salary over scandal

Jun 05, 2018, 08:06 IST | Agencies

Aso is the richest minister in Abe's cabinet because of his family's massive fortune made in the mining business

Taro Aso said the ministry had also penalised 20 officials. Pic/AFP
Taro Aso said the ministry had also penalised 20 officials. Pic/AFP

Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso has said he was returning a year's salary after his ministry scrubbed public documents related to a cronyism scandal that has dogged Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

But, he ruled out resigning after it emerged ministry officials had removed hundreds of references to Abe, his wife, and Aso from documents related to the sale of state land at below-market prices.

"I am voluntarily returning 12 months of my salary as a cabinet minister, as this problem has hurt public confidence in the finance ministry and the administration as a whole," Taro Aso said. Aso is the richest minister in Abe's cabinet because of his family's massive fortune made in the mining business. Abe told reporters he wanted Aso to stay on to ensure lessons were learned from the scandal.

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