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Editorial: Farm minister’s resignation must not delay policies

  • 2015-02-24 15:00:00
  • , Nikkei
  • Translation

(Nikkei: February 24, 2015 – p. 4)

 

 Agriculture Minister Koya Nishikawa has resigned to take responsibility for issues relating to “politics and money.” This was a matter of course since he had been involved with a number of dubious political donations. The replacement of the agriculture minister must not delay work on agricultural cooperative reform, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, or other key issues.

 

 After two of his cabinet ministers resigned last October, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did not reappoint former Defense Minister Akinori Eto, who was implicated in a “politics and money” scandal, when he launched his third cabinet last December.

 

 Could he not have done something about Nishikawa’s case sooner? In connection with Nishikawa’s resignation, the Prime Minister told reporters: “I was responsible for his appointment, so I would like to apologize to the people.” We hope that he has learned a lesson for his future personnel decisions.

 

 Yoshimasa Hayashi, Nishikawa’s predecessor, was appointed to replace Nishikawa to ensure policy continuity. A repeat of the experience of the first Abe cabinet, where the resignation of ministers resulted in stagnation in policy implementation and caused the people to lose trust in the administration, must be avoided by all means.

 

 Agricultural cooperative reform is one of the top priority issues in the current Diet session. The administration must work closely together to support Hayashi and step up efforts to draw up the relevant bills. (Slightly abridged)

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