Atsuko Muraki was thrown into the public spotlight in 2009, when she was head of the Equal Employment, Children and Families Bureau at the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

Back then, Japan's major news media suddenly started casting her as a lead perpetrator in a fraud allegation involving Tokyo-based Rin-no-kai, an organization that had improperly acquired government accreditation as a group working for the disabled in order to use a postage discount system available for such entities.

Muraki had never heard of Rin-no-kai, nor had she had any dealings with other suspects who had been linked to the group, but that didn't stop the media — fed daily with leaks from prosecutors — from stalking her.