Jokes make Japanese justice minister resign

42434.jpegJapan's justice minister resigned Monday over comments that made light of his duty to respond to questioning in parliament, a blow to the ruling Democratic party as it struggles to keep Japan's fragile economic recovery alive.

Minoru Yanagida said Nov. 14 that as justice minister he only needed to remember two comments when facing questions from lawmakers: "I do not comment on specific cases," and "We are dealing with the matter appropriately based on law and evidence," according to The Associated Press.

A survey by the Mainichi newspaper released on Monday showed support for Kan's government at 26 percent, down 23 points from the previous poll in October, and 71 percent of respondents said Yanagida should resign over his gaffe.

In the poll, 20 percent of the respondents said they supported Kan's ruling Democratic Party, down 11 points from the last poll, while 18 percent said they supported the main opposition LDP, up 4 points.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku told a parliamentary committee that he will take on the justice portfolio in addition to his role as the government's No. 2, Press TV reports.