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Japan's agriculture minister resigns amid questions over political funding, denies wrongdoing

  • Japan's Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Koya Nishikawa, center, speaks to the reporters at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015.  Minister Nishikawa has resigned following questions over his handling of political funding contributions. Nishikawa said Monday that he wanted to avoid disruptions to parliamentary proceedings and had chosen to leave the government.  (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT

    Japan's Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Koya Nishikawa, center, speaks to the reporters at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015. Minister Nishikawa has resigned following questions over his handling of political funding contributions. Nishikawa said Monday that he wanted to avoid disruptions to parliamentary proceedings and had chosen to leave the government. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE- In this Sept. 3, 2014 file photo, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Koya Nishikawa speaks during a press conference at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo.  Minister Nishikawa has resigned following questions over his handling of political funding contributions. Nishikawa said Monday, Feb. 23, 2015,  that he wanted to avoid disruptions to parliamentary proceedings and had chosen to leave the government. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)

    FILE- In this Sept. 3, 2014 file photo, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Koya Nishikawa speaks during a press conference at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo. Minister Nishikawa has resigned following questions over his handling of political funding contributions. Nishikawa said Monday, Feb. 23, 2015, that he wanted to avoid disruptions to parliamentary proceedings and had chosen to leave the government. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)  (The Associated Press)

Japan's agriculture minister has resigned following questions over his handling of political funding contributions.

Koya Nishikawa, who heads the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said Monday that he wanted to avoid disruptions to parliamentary proceedings and had chosen to leave the government.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that he had resisted, but in the end accepted Nishikawa's resignation. Abe said he was appointing lawmaker Yoshimasa Hayashi, who preceded Nishikawa as farm minister before a Cabinet reshuffle in September, to resume the post.

Questions arose over an alleged 1 million yen ($8,400) donation to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party from a company run by a sugar manufacturers association that had received government subsidies.