Japan’s deputy finance minister has resigned over tax evasion

The Minister of State for Finance, Kenji Kanda, the second in charge of the country’s financial portfolio, resigned this Monday after the national press revealed that he had committed tax evasion for nearly a decade.

Kanda, who trained as a public tax accountant, admitted that between 2013 and 2022, Japanese authorities seized land and real estate belonging to a company he owns at least four times for non-payment of fixed income taxes.

Kanda’s violations were revealed by a local magazine, and since the information was published, the opposition parties demanded his resignation and criticized such behavior from his profile, considering that his competence in the ministry is related to taxes.

The former deputy minister also admitted to skipping the mandatory annual conferences of tax accountants.

The official told a parliamentary session last week that he was very busy with his public service and that “the lawsuit and other matters were the responsibility of the accounting office staff,” Kyodo news agency reported.

It is the third resignation of a senior Kishida cabinet official in just over a month since he was reformed in September, following the resignations of the deputy justice and education ministers for involvement in the “affair” and alleged irregularities in the election process. law..

This Monday’s resignation represents a new setback for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who is currently suffering from his lowest approval and popularity ratings since he took office in October 2021.

Japan’s president has opted to pressure Kanda to step down, fearing the scandal could affect ongoing parliamentary debates to approve his new economic stimulus measures, which include tax breaks to ease the effects of inflation, which continues to outpace wages. growth.

Some members of the opposition have threatened not to participate in the talks unless Kishida replaces Kanda.

The media has speculated for months that Japan’s chief executive would call for snap elections, often used in the country as a way to gauge support for government policies and legitimize them, but there would be a clear weakness in Kishida’s support. End the call.

Kishida will also be cautious about seeking re-election as leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in September 2024 domestic elections. In Japan, the most vocal party leader is the one who holds the office of Prime Minister.

Source: El Diario

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