TOKYO (AFP) – Rising star and possible future prime minister of Japan, Yuko Obuchi was under fire Thursday over reports she has spent political donations on make-up, in a blow to the most prominent of a new wave of women ministers.
Obuchi, a mother of two, was tapped by premier Shinzo Abe in September as the country’s first female minister of economy, trade and industry, a powerful portfolio that includes oversight of the energy sector.
The centre-left Mainichi Shimbun said Thursday that over the five years to 2012, her political funding body spent more than 10 million yen ($95,000) on things unconnected to politics, including cosmetics and accessories at a department store.
The organisation also spent 3.62 million yen in a boutique run by her sister’s husband, the report said.
Other newspaper reports claimed a separate Obuchi group had spent some 26 million yen on theatre tickets for supporters.