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Japan Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara 'offers to resign' over South Korean's gift

March 6, 2011 - Tokyo

Japan Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara has reportedly decided to resign after becoming embroiled in an illegal political donation scandal.

According to the BBC, Maehara has been under pressure after admitting that he had accepted a political donation from a foreign national, which, if done intentionally, is against Japanese law.

The Foreign Minister has admitted taking a 50,000 yen political donation from a South Korean national in Japan.

Opposition legislators have been repeatedly urging Maehara to resign over the scandal.

"Maehara should take responsibility for his actions," said Hirofumi Nakasone, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party and former Foreign Minister.

Kazuyoshi Shirahama, a member of the Komeito Party, said: "If this is true, it's a serious matter that could require resignation."

Maehara had assumed the office of Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in the cabinet of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in September 2009.

He retained the post in the cabinet of Prime Minister Naoto Kan, but was moved to Foreign Ministry in September 2010.

Maehara is viewed as a "China hawk", and a proponent of close ties with the United States.


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