Japan's State Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Ichiro Tsukada, has offered to resign over comments about a project involving the constituencies of the prime minister and deputy prime minister.
Tsukada submitted his resignation on Friday morning and apologized for causing trouble.
Earlier this week, Tsukada spoke at a meeting in Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture, about a stalled project to build a road linking the city with Shimonoseki in Yamaguchi Prefecture.
He noted that Shimonoseki is Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's constituency and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso represents a constituency in Fukuoka Prefecture.
Tsukada said the prime minister and deputy prime minister cannot talk about matters involving their constituencies, so he guessed what they were thinking about the project.
Tsukada later retracted the comments, saying they didn't reflect the facts. He apologized for the remarks but expressed his intention to remain in his post.
Prime Minister Abe said Tsukada's comments were problematic, but he should continue performing his duties.
Opposition parties have been demanding Tsukada's resignation.
Some officials from the ruling parties had also said he should step down.
Abe is now expected to quickly appoint Tsukada's successor to prevent the matter from affecting government business and the current Diet session.