A vice minister has given up using a chauffeured official car to take her child to day care after drawing political flak, but some working mothers have expressed sympathy for the 39-year-old lawmaker.

The Shukan Shincho weekly magazine accused Megumi Kaneko of "mixing up official and private matters" when it reported in late June that she had used an official vehicle to transport her 1-year-old son to his nursery.

Picking up on the report, Renho, leader of the main opposition force, the Democratic Party, criticized Kaneko, a Lower House member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, saying the conduct constitutes "private use of an official vehicle."