NIIGATA – Liberal Democratic Party secretary-general Sadakazu Tanigaki on Thursday apologized over the reported extramarital affair of lawmaker and paternity leave advocate Kensuke Miyazaki.
“We are really sorry,” Tanigaki said in a speech in the city of Niigata.
Miyazaki, a 35-year-old member of the Lower House, said in late December that he would like to take child care leave in a landmark move for a Japanese lawmaker.
His wife, Megumi Kaneko, 37, also a Lower House member of the LDP, gave birth to a baby boy last Friday.
However, weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun on Wednesday reported that Miyazaki allegedly had a rendezvous with a model six days before his wife gave birth.
The magazine said that on Jan. 30 Miyazaki spent the night with the model, identified as Mayu Miyazawa, in Kyoto Prefecture, which contains the area he represents. The magazine alleged Miyazawa traveled from Tokyo to Kyoto for a tryst with the lawmaker at his condo.
Miyazaki has remained silent on the report, though it is understood he may hold a news conference on the matter in Tokyo on Friday.
The alleged affair has drawn mixed reactions in the LDP. Some young lawmakers urged Miyazaki to leave the party, while a senior LDP official said he did not have to.
Yukio Edano, Secretary-General of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, said Wednesday he was “infuriated” by the news.
“To think he was pushing for prevalence of paternity leave while (having an affair). . . . As a party aiming to increase the number of men who take such leave, we feel our goal is tarnished by his action.”