Japan appoints new state minister of finance

The Japanese government has announced a new State Minister of Finance. Kanda Kenji resigned Monday over repeatedly failing to pay taxes. A former State Minister of the Cabinet Office is set to replace him.

Lower House lawmaker Akazawa Ryosei belongs to the main ruling Liberal Democratic Party. He has also served as Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has now had to replace three Cabinet appointees in the current Diet session. His State Minister of Justice and parliamentary vice-minister of education and culture resigned one after another last month. Kishida says he takes his responsibility for Kanda's appointment seriously.

Kishida says "I have to apologize to the people of Japan for all of this. We should work hard and fulfil our duties with a greater sense of tension. I think that's all we should do to restore the public's trust."

Kanda is a lower house lawmaker and certified tax accountant. He apologized last week in the Diet, admitting that the land and buildings of a company where he serves as a representative director were seized four times over tax delinquency.

The revelations followed a report in a magazine. Opposition lawmakers had called for Kanda to step down.