Lower House Speaker Hiroyuki Hosoda has filed a damages suit against the publisher of a popular weekly magazine that recently ran reports about his alleged sexual harassment of female reporters, according to his lawyer.

Calling the reports of the Shukan Bunshun magazine groundless and defamatory, the 78-year-old ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker demanded Friday that Bungeishunju Ltd. pay him ¥22 million ($165,000) in damages and publish an apology ad.

The magazine's editorial department said it is "regrettable" that Hosoda, who serves as "top of the highest organ of the state power, has not given any explanation (over the reports) to the public but filed a lawsuit."

"We are confident about our reports and we will set the record straight in court," it said.

One of the reports said Hosoda had called a female reporter late at night and asked her to come to his house.

Hosoda, one of the most powerful politicians in the LDP, faced a no-confidence motion in the Lower House of parliament earlier this month. But it was voted down by the LDP-led coalition, which controls the powerful chamber, about a month ahead of an Upper House election.

Before he was elected speaker of the House of Representatives last year, Hosoda was head of the largest faction within the ruling party. Currently, the intraparty group is led by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.