Japan's state minister of finance resigns over tax delinquency

Japan's government has approved the resignation of State Minister of Finance Kanda Kenji, who repeatedly failed to pay taxes for his company.

The Cabinet gave the approval on Monday after Kanda handed in his resignation. Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has decided to replace him on the grounds that the issue should not stall Diet deliberations.

Kanda, a Lower House lawmaker and certified tax accountant, admitted in a Diet session last week that his company had repeatedly been in arrears for property taxes.

He said the tax authorities have seized the company's land and buildings four times. He offered an apology.

His admission comes after a weekly magazine reported on the tax delinquency.

Opposition parties have called for his resignation. Some ruling coalition officials have also voiced concern that the issue could affect Diet proceedings.

The government plans to name his successor on Monday.

Kanda's resignation comes after the state minister of justice and the parliamentary vice-minister of education in Kishida's Cabinet both stepped down last month.

Kanda was elected to the lower chamber four times from a district in Aichi Prefecture. He was appointed to the finance ministry post in the Cabinet reshuffle in September.