TOKYO (AP) — The Tokyo governor who helped his city secure the 2020 Olympics resigned Thursday after revelations that he received 50 million yen ($480,200) from a hospital company.
Gov. Naoki Inose had come under growing pressure to step down in recent days, in particular from Japanese ruling party leaders who said the continuing scandal could affect preparations for the summer games.
"I shouldn't be delaying government operations or stalling preparations for the Olympics and Paralympics any longer," he said at a news conference broadcast live on Japanese television.
He apologized to the people of Tokyo for the ruckus, and said he tried to clarify what happened but could not wipe out public suspicion. "I decided that the only solution is for me to step down as governor," he said.
Inose has said the money he received in November 2012 from the Tokushukai company was a personal loan that he has paid back, and that the owner of the hospital chain didn't receive any favors in return. The Tokyo assembly has set up a committee to investigate.
Inose was elected in December last year. He said he plans to return to his previous career as a writer.