Bribery row forces Japan's finance minister to quit

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Jolted by allegations of bribery and reports that officials were entertained extravagantly in restaurants, Japan's finance minister said yesterday that he would step down after two senior officials under his supervision were arrested.

Hiroshi Mitsuzuka had come under intense pressure to resign after prosecutors raided his ministry on Monday and opposition law-makers vowed to block critical national budget legislation until he quit. "I deeply apologise for this disgrace," Mr Mitsuzuka said.

- AP, Tokyo