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Amari to Remain as Japan Economy Minister After Cancer Diagnosis

Japan’s Economy Minister Akira Amari
Japan’s Economy Minister Akira Amari told reporters in Tokyo today that he has been diagnosed with an early stage of tongue cancer, and had submitted his resignation only to see Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reject it. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Dec. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Japan’s Economy Minister Akira Amari said he will take leave for two weeks to receive treatment for early-stage cancer of the tongue.

Amari, 64, told reporters in Tokyo that his deputy, Yasutoshi Nishimura, will assume his duties while he’s on leave. Amari said he will have an operation as early as next week. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe refused his offer to resign, Amari said.

After the operation, Amari said his doctors told him he will need two weeks in the hospital, and then a week or two of rest at home before he can return to work. Nishimura said that he would attend the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks scheduled for this weekend in Singapore instead of Amari.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Chikako Mogi in Tokyo at; Keiko Ujikane in Tokyo at; Masaaki Iwamoto in Tokyo at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Teo Chian Wei at

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