TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japanese ruling party member of parliament resigned from his post as a deputy minister on Friday after allegations that he accepted bribes from a wind power company, dealing another setback to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
Tokyo prosecutors raided the office of ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Masatoshi Akimoto on suspicion that he took bribes amounting to tens of millions of yen, according to public broadcaster NHK.
The foreign ministry later announced that Akimoto had stepped down from his post as a vice minister.
Calls to Akimoto's office went unanswered. Government spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno declined to comment saying that Akimoto had not spoken to him about the issue.
The resignation comes after Kishida's approval rating slid to its lowest since he took office in 2021. Public frustration with him and his government centres on a proposal to integrate tax and social security data into a single identification card.
Errors that have recently come to light with the card have included health insurance information linked to the wrong social security account and welfare payments made to the wrong person.
A Yomiuri newspaper poll in July found that approval for the Kishida administration had dipped to a low of 35%. The same poll found 52% of respondents did not support the government.
State broadcaster NHK and other media have reported that Tokyo prosecutors suspect Japan Wind Development Co paid bribes to Akimoto.
The Tokyo-based company declined to comment, referring questions to its lawyer. Reuters was not able to reach the company's lawyer for comment.
A lawyer representing the company's president denied bribery, the Sankei newspaper reported.
(Reporting by Sakura Murakami; editing by Robert Birsel)