Yuko Nakagawa, a parliamentary vice minister at the Agriculture Ministry, has apologized for causing trouble after a weekly magazine reported that she had kissed a married colleague while on a business trip.
Nakagawa, 56, the widow of late former Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa, checked herself into a hospital when the scandal broke in Shukan Shincho on March 5. The magazine carried a story about her kissing lawmaker Hirofumi Kado, 49, on a street in Roppongi on Feb 23.
However, Nakagawa reappeared in public on Wednesday and tearfully told reporters she was sorry for the incident. She said the incident occurred after a drinking party and that her action was thoughtless, Sports Nippon reported. Nakagawa also added that she would not resign her post which she has held since last September.
Kado, who is married with three children, issued a public apology on March 5 after the Shukan Shincho issue hit the newsstands.
Earlier, Nakagawa apologized to her colleagues at a House of Representatives committee meeting in the Diet. She was welcomed with applause and people shouting, “Do your best," Sports Nippon reported.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that he had instructed Nakagawa to properly carry out her duties and conduct herself appropriately.
The government is still reeling from the Feb 23 resignation of Nakagawa's boss, former Agriculture Minister Koya Nishikawa, amid questions over political fundraising. A government spokesman said, "We cannot allow a chain reaction of resignations to spread within the ministry. As long as Ms Nakagawa she says she wants to continue, we can only support her.”© Japan Today