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Japan PM Kishida plans to replace chief cabinet secretary Matsuno -report


TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida plans to replace Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno amid media reports he had received unreported political funds, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Saturday, citing several government and ruling party sources.

Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its leader, Kishida, are facing mounting scrutiny after allegations the party’s lawmakers – including Matsuno and other high-profile members – may have pocketed more than 100 million yen ($693,000) of fundraising proceeds that were left off the books.

Local media have reported that Tokyo prosecutors are looking to start investigating lawmakers after the current session of parliament ends on Wednesday.

Matsuno is suspected of having failed to report more than 10 million yen he received in the past five years from the biggest faction in the LDP, the Asahi newspaper and others have reported.

Matsuno has declined to comment on the allegations at his daily press conferences.

($1 = 144.1800 yen)

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko, Editing by Chang-Ran Kim, Chris Reese and Rosalba O’Brien)

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