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Shiozaki's office staffer embezzled, double-booked 6.3 million yen
TOKYO, Aug. 20 - A staff member at Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki's parliamentary office has embezzled about 6.3 million yen in political funds and double booked expenses in funding reports in 2005 as a coverup, the lawmaker's office said Monday.
The latest in a spate of money scandals involving Cabinet ministers is another blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, coming less than a month after farm minister Norihiko Akagi was effectively dismissed over scandals including the double-booking of office expenses.
"I myself am very shocked and find it regrettable that something like this has happened," Shiozaki said in a statement. "I will deeply reflect on my responsibilities to manage and supervise, and will make utmost efforts to investigate the situation and prevent a recurrence."
The incident may dampen the hopes of Shiozaki, a close ally of Abe, to take the foreign ministerial post in next week's Cabinet reshuffle...
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