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Japan defence minister to quit over cover-up scandal

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Japanese Defence Minister Tomomi Inada will resign to take responsibility for a cover-up scandal, local media reported last night citing government sources, with her decision coming just a week before an expected Cabinet reshuffle..
Japanese Defence Minister Tomomi Inada will resign to take responsibility for a cover-up scandal, local media reported last night citing government sources, with her decision coming just a week before an expected Cabinet reshuffle.
She is expected to submit her letter of resignation to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today, NHK said.
Also due today is a report of an internal probe into the scandal, in which Ms Inada is alleged to have green-lighted the concealment of mission logs of ground troops in South Sudan in July last year.
General Toshiya Okabe, the chief of staff of the Ground Self-Defence Force, has also offered to step down, media reports said.
Ms Inada, whom Mr Abe once regarded as his protege, was already widely expected to be replaced in the Cabinet shake-up next Thursday. The beleaguered defence minister, who served the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) as its policy chief for two years, was appointed only last August.
But over the past year, her competence has come into question as she is seen to be unable to hold her own under relentless questioning in the Diet, while she has also drawn flak for a series of gaffes.
Japanese ground troops had been deployed from 2012 to May this year in the young African country that is mired in civil war, as part of a United Nations peacekeeping mission.

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