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Japan’s Trade Minister Resigns; Replacement Named

Japanese Trade and Industry Minister Yuko Obuchi resigned Oct. 20, less than two months after her appointment, due to allegations related to misuse of campaign funds. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appointed Yoichi Miyazawa, an Upper House member and former official in Japan’s Finance Ministry, as her replacement.

Because Obuchi was new to the position and had mainly focused on energy policy and domestic industries, her departure is not expected to impact Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. A ministerial-level round of TPP negotiations is set to begin Oct. 25 in Sydney, Australia.