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|TOKYO Cheap Doug Wickenheiser Jersey , Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Former Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yuko Obuchi who stepped down from the Cabinet last month over allegations her support groups misused political funds and filed dodgy reports between 2008 and 2012, still plans to defend her Liberal Democratic Party seat in December's snap election.
But the scandal-hit ex-minister found herself in hot water again Wednesday over yet more allegations her support group misused millions of yen, in part, to purchase potatoes.
Obuchi, 40 Cheap Brian Sutter Jersey , the daughter of a former prime minister, who was hotly-tipped to succeed Abe as the nation's first female prime minister one day, according to two income and expenditure reports for 2013 from her support groups in Gunma Prefecture, was linked to dubious reports, including but not limited to, those claiming expenses of around 19 million yen on tickets and other costs for theater tours and baseball games in 2013 Cheap Doug Gilmour Jersey , but listing only about 11 million yen in revenue in the reports.
Sources with knowledge of the matter confirmed Wednesday that one of her local support groups, in one incident, posted payments of 140,000 yen for tickets to baseball games at the Tokyo Dome baseball arena, home to the Tokyo Giants MLB team, but reported no revenue from the outgoing Cheap Shayne Corson Jersey , and, in addition, payments to the tune of 950,000 yen for potatoes were claimed in the reports under the dubious heading of "organizational expenses."
Tokyo prosecutors are investigating a possible breach of the law governing political funding, and have raided the office of Obuchi's support group and the home of her former secretary.
Personnel at Obuchi's office said Wednesday they cannot comment on the allegations while a criminal investigation is under way.
The reports were initially disclosed by the Gunma prefectural election board Wednesday, where Obuchi has her lower house constituency and two organizations of supporters.
Abe's Cabinet has been relatively scandal-free for the best part of two years Cheap Barclay Plager Jersey , since he took office in December 2012, without anyone stepping down forcibly or otherwise.
But the recent resignation of two female ministers has dealt a massive blow to the prime minister and undermined his Cabinet's support rate, which has hit record-lows in national surveys as the LDP goes to the polls next month.
The inclusion of more women in his Cabinet was aimed at ensuring broader support from the electorate, as the premier seeks to have women occupy 30 percent of leadership positions by 2020.
But a second sucker punch was delivered to Abe by Japan's outgoing Justice Minister, Midori Matsushima, just hours after Obuchi quit. Matsushima stepped down to admit her culpability in violating Japan's election laws.
Abe said that he had accepted the resignations of both women and stated that he himself felt Cheap Keith Tkachuk Jersey , "responsible for appointing them as ministers."
Obuchi, for her part, has, thus far, maintained that she had failed to oversee the exact spending of her support groups, and would endeavor to clear her name following ongoing external probes.
Her final resignation came after four support groups she was linked to were found to have reported that entertainment expenses between 2008 and 2011 exceeded revenue by more than 55 million yen.
Obuchi also came under fire for reports that her political funding oversight body had spent nearly 3.6 million yen over a five-year period on a design office run by her sister Cheap Garry Unger Jersey , and a clothing shop run by Obuchi's brother-in-law, with the allegations adding further fuel to the fire of her initial financial improprieties.
Obuchi, the daughter of former Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, claimed that the money used here was legitimate and had been used within the law, stating that she has"drawn a clear line between public and private matters."
But investigations here are still pending, a representative from here office told the press Cheap Red Berenson Jersey , without divulging specifics, but suggesting that the probe could be a lengthy one.
Obuchi was elected from a single-seat constituency in Gunma Prefecture and joined Abe's government in the Sept. 3 Cabinet reshuffle, as one of the headline-grabbing five female ministers in the prime ministers reshuffled Cabinet.
Obuchi took over her father's position as the LDP's party branch head in Gunma, following his death in 2000.
But while the disgraced Obuchi has up until now played the ignorance card and hasn't admitted any wrongdoing -- only actually stepping down to"take responsibility" and to"not impede ongoing economic and energy policy"for the affair -- with her office refusing to comment due to her now facing a criminal complaint, Abe allowing her to run in the upcoming election on the LDP's ticket so soon after such a monumental scandal, some observers believe Cheap Joe Mullen Jersey , is a sign the prime minister is resoundingly confident of the ruling bloc securing the majority it needs in the lower house on Dec. 14.
PARIS, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Struggling to avoid falling further behind the faster recovering European neighbors, France would reach a robust growth in 2015, vital to bring down the double digit unemployment rate, an expert at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said.
"We are perhaps slightly more confident in our projection that by early 2015 growth could be strong enough to be ... robust," said Peter Jarrett Cheap Bob Plager Jersey , head of the country studies division covering France in the OECD Economics Department.
"This is unfortunately still an unlikely outcome for France in 2014. Indeed, we see no reason to change our projections ... which call for GDP to grow 1 percent this year and for the unemployment rate to edge up by a couple of tenths," he told Xinhua in an interview.
After a weak start in 2013, the 2.8-trillion-U.S.-dollar economy pulled out of a shallow recession to grow more than forecasted to 0.3 percent. The better-than-expected performance was driven.