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METI vice minister Toshinao Nakagawa submits resignation amid rumors of affair

Toshinao Nakagawa
Article in this week’s Shukan Shincho claims Toshinao Nakagawa was registered with police as a stalker (TV Asahi)

TOKYO (TR) – Toshinao Nakagawa, the vice minister of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, on Tuesday submitted his resignation amid speculation about an extra-marital affair, reports Jiji Press (Apr. 18).

Nakagawa, 46, cited “personal matters” as his reason for stepping down. On Facebook, he said that his resignation comes before the release of an article in a weekly magazine that details his relationship with a woman. “I am truly filled with feelings of sorrow for hurting her,” he wrote. “I am deeply sorry for my lack of moral responsibility.” He added that he had explained the situation to his wife last year.

The magazine article in question, scheduled to appear in Shukan Shincho later this week, documents an affair between Nakagawa and the woman, whom he met while a company employee.

Following the announcement of Nakagawa’s resignation, the magazine issued a tweet saying the article accuses the former vice minister of being registered with the police as a stalker after a dispute with his mistress.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe subsequently appointed Masato Ogushi as the successor to Nakagawa. “Prime Minister Abe said, ‘Do your best.’ It is sudden, but I would like to fulfill my responsibilities firmly, though with a feeling of tension,” said Ogushi at a press event.

Liberal Democratic Party politician Megumi Maekawa
A march issue of Friday claimed Toshinao Nakagawa engaged in an illicit meeting with lawmaker Megumi Maekawa

This is the not the first time that Nakagawa has been accused of such a transgression. The March 24 issue of weekly tabloid Friday reported on an illicit meeting between Nakagawa and Liberal Democratic Party politician Megumi Maekawa.

Nakagawa, a native of Hiroshima Prefecture, was first elected to the lower house of the Diet in 2012. The lawmaker is currently serving his second term. He had previously served as a reporter for TV Tokyo.

Nakagawa, who has three children, assumed the post as vice minister in August of last year. His father is a former chief secretary of the LDP.