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Planning Official Quits in Japan Stock Scandal

From Reuters

Japan’s Economic Planning Minister, Ken Harada, resigned today over a share trading scandal he was once charged to investigate.

Harada joined two other ministers driven out of office last month by the Recruit Co. scandal but said he had done nothing illegal.

Harada, who took over as economic planning minister less than a month ago, had previously been chairman of a government committee charged with investigating the share trading scandal.

The Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported in its afternoon edition that Harada had received large contributions from Recruit Co., parent company of a real-estate firm at the center of the scandal that has rocked the Japanese government.

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In a statement to reporters after handing his resignation to Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita, Harada confirmed that he had received money from the company.

“I don’t think I have done anything wrong in receiving political contributions. The amount of contributions I received was within the law,” he said.

Harada, a close aide to Takeshita, said he resigned in order to spare the government any trouble.


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