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Scandal-hit Japan in no shape to shape up

Nukaga: tried to pin the blame on his secretary

Japan's ruling political party has been hit by a triple whammy of financial scandals just when the economy needs strong leaders.

Fukushiro Nukaga, a senior member of the cabinet and tipped as a future prime minister, is the third leading MP to go in two weeks. Given that he was in charge of economic policy, it seems Japan's problems matter less to him than saving his skin.

It was not certain Nukaga would quit, even when it was revealed that he took ¥15 million ($135,000) from insurer KSD. His way out was not the traditional response to a lost reputation - disembowelling himself in ritual seppuku - but instead to blame his secretary.

Nukaga swears his secretary, not him, received the money and that he returned it as soon as he found it.

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