Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office head Hiromu Kurokawa has tendered his resignation amid mounting pressure over revelations he illegally played mahjong for money during Japan’s state of emergency.
Kurokawa admitted the offence late last week before stepping down on Friday.
The controversy is seen as a major setback for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after the cabinet allowed the 63-year old Kurokawa to continue in the role beyond retirement age.
According to Jiji Press, Abe responded on Friday by stating, “As Prime Minister, I’m of course responsible. I sincerely accept criticism.”
Kurokawa was found to have visited the home of a reporter from the Sankei Shimbun on 1 May where they and others played and bet on mahjong. An employee of another major Japanese daily newspaper, the Asahi Shimbun, was also in attendance.
Representatives of both the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito had called for Kurokawa’s resignation.