A married Japanese ruling party lawmaker resigned Friday for allegedly having an affair while publicly announcing he would seek to take paternity leave to promote women's rights.

Kensuke Miyazaki bowed repeatedly and apologized profusely at a news conference broadcast live on Japanese television.

"I did something very cruel to my wife who just delivered a baby. I am in deep remorse," he said, speaking with some difficulty as camera flashes lit up his face.

"To those who took serious interest in the issue of men taking paternity leave, I deeply, deeply apologize," he said.

The 35-year-old lower house member from Kyoto prefecture had drawn both praise and criticism after saying he would take the rare step of taking time off work to help care for his child. His wife is also a member of parliament.

The debate took an unexpected turn when a weekly magazine reported earlier this week that Miyazaki had a rendezvous with a model six days before his wife gave birth. He admitted at the news conference that he and the woman had met three times.