Saitama governor resigns

Saitama Governor Tsuchiya Yoshihiko on July 12 suddenly announced his resignation.

It came after his daughter's arrest on suspicion of misappropriation of political funds. Prosecutors are now widening their search for allegedly cozy ties between the prefectural administration and certain companies, including construction contractors.

Tsuchiya currently chairs the Prefectural Governors Association and used to be the secretary-general of the Upper House Liberal Democratic Party as well as the House of Councilors president.

The Japanese Communist Party Saitama Prefectural Committee issued a statement on the same day calling for a thorough investigation into the facts and preventive measures to be established.

The JCP, the only party in the prefectural assembly to have demanded that Tsuchiya step down soon after the revelation, argued that a full investigation is essential for eradicating corruption over "politics and money". It also expressed determination to join hands with a wider range of Saitama people in a gubernatorial election seeking to establish a new prefectural government.

The JCP Saitama Prefectural Assembly Group demanded that a special team be set up to establish the facts regarding misappropriations by Tsuchiya and his daughter of the prefectural government. (end)

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