TOKYO – Reports say Japan's unpopular defense minister, a protege of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, will step down in connection with an alleged cover-up of military documents.
Japanese media, including public broadcaster NHK, say Defense Minister Tomomi Inada will announce her resignation on Friday when results of an internal probe of the scandal is issued.
The defense ministry is accused of hiding parts of a daily log of activities by Japanese U.N. peacekeepers in South Sudan that referred to dangers faced by the troops, a sensitive topic.
The popularity of Abe's administration has plunged over a series of recent scandals, including accusations of misuse of power and cronyism.
Abe is expected to reshuffle his Cabinet next week to regain public support, but already has been criticized for defending Inada for too long.