Spokeswoman for Japan PM Suga resigns over expensive dinners with his son

Shinzo Abe and Makiko Yamada.
PHOTO: Reuters

TOKYO, March 1 - Makiko Yamada, a key spokeswoman for Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, will resign after she and other senior bureaucrats were reprimanded for attending expensive dinners hosted by Suga’s son, the government said.

Yamada will tender her resignation on Monday (March 1), the Japanese government’s spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told reporters.

Suga’s administration, including Cabinet Public Relations Secretary Yamada, 60, has faced public anger after weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun last month reported that Suga’s oldest son, Seigo Suga, an executive at a film company, had paid for expensive dinners for senior bureaucrats.

Japan’s National Civil Service Ethics Law prohibits government employees from receiving gifts or entertainment from companies or individuals that could be seen to curry favour.

Some local media reports also said that Yamada had been admitted to hospital, meaning she will miss a Monday parliamentary committee meeting where opposition politicians were expected to question her about a dinner with Seigo Suga in 2019, when she was an official at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.