Cabinet minister was questioned over theft of woman's underwear, gossip magazine says

Staff Report

One of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s newly appointed ministers has come under scrutiny after a gossip magazine reported Thursday that he was once suspected in the theft of a young woman’s underwear.

Weekly magazine Shunkan Shincho said Tsuyoshi Takagi, who was last week appointed minister in charge of reconstruction in Tohoku, entered a house and stole clothing belonging to a woman in her 20s around 30 years ago in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture.

The Japan Times could not independently confirm the allegation. Staffers at Takagi’s offices in Tokyo and Fukui Prefecture said no one was available to comment.

The magazine said its report is based on testimony by the victim’s sister, whom it did not name.

It said police interrogated Takagi following the incident but did not arrest him and no indictment followed.

Takagi, a Lower House member from Tsuruga, was appointed in the Oct. 7 Cabinet reshuffle. He is serving his sixth term as a lawmaker.