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Japanese agriculture minister suicide

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I don't like the sound of this

From the bbc, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6697329.stm

Japanese minister 'kills himself'

Toshikatsu Matsuoka was embroiled in a financial scandal

Japan's Agriculture Minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka has died in hospital after reportedly committing suicide.

The 62-year-old was found hanged in his Tokyo apartment hours before he was to face questions in parliament over his links to a political funding scandal.

Efforts to resuscitate him at hospital failed. Officials said police were still investigating the cause of death.

Opposition MPs had been calling for his resignation over unexplained expenses claimed for a rent-free office.

Scandals and gaffes

"We've confirmed that Agriculture Minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka is dead. We are greatly saddened," said government spokesman Yasuhisa Shiozaki.

Mr Matsuoka had allegedly claimed more than 28m yen ($236,600; £118,300) in utility fees at his parliamentary office, where utility costs are free. He denied any wrong-doing.

He had previously refused to explain the expenses to a parliamentary committee but the Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, defended him, saying he had fulfilled his legal responsibilities.

Mr Abe's eight-month premiership has been rocked by a series of scandals and gaffes.

Support for Japan's government has fallen to its lowest level since he took office, a new poll suggests.

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