Top public relations official for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has stepped down, the government says on Monday.
She stepped down after being criticised for participating in a 74,000-yen dinner organisded by a media company that employs the premier’s son.
Cabinet Public Relations Secretary Makiko Yamada was scheduled to answer more questions about the 2019 meal by opposition lawmakers in parliament on Monday.
She was grilled last week.
Yamada, who became the first woman to take the position when Suga took office as premier in September, conceded she was treated to the dinner by Tohokushinsha Film Corp, which provides satellite broadcasting services.
At that time, Yamada was a senior bureaucrat at the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, which issues licences for such services.
While working as secretary to Suga, his son got acquainted with Ms. Yamada and other bureaucrats at the ministry, where Suga served as minister between 2006 and 2007, weekly magazine Bunshun reported in February.
Yamada was hospitalised on Sunday for two weeks due to ill health and told the government she could no longer carry on her duties, government spokesperson, Katsunobu Kato, disclosed.
More than 10 ministry officials, wined and dined by the company, were punished in violation of the National Public Service Ethics Act