Japan finance official quits over alleged sexual misconduct

A top Japanese finance ministry official has resigned over sexual misconduct allegations.

Vice Finance Minister Junichi Fukuda denied the allegations Wednesday but submitted his resignation, citing difficulty carrying out his duties due to escalating criticism and attention.

The Weekly Shincho magazine published sexually suggestive remarks Fukuda allegedly made while speaking to an unidentified female reporter earlier this year. The magazine alleged that Fukuda routinely made similar types of comments to female reporters in private conversation.

Fukuda said he regretted becoming the target of the allegations and causing trouble to his ministry, which has launched investigation.

He said he planned to sue the magazine.

The scandal is the latest embarrassment for the ministry, which has also been hit by a cronyism scandal linked to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's wife.