Muraki chosen as Japan's 2nd ever woman vice minister

The government plans to name Atsuko Muraki as Japan's second ever woman vice minister, reflecting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plan to appoint women to key posts, government sources said Friday.

Muraki, 57, now director general of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry's Social Welfare and War Victims' Relief Bureau, has been picked as vice minister of the ministry.

The final decision on the appointment is expected to come within this month, the sources said.

Japan's first female vice minister was Nobuko Matsubara who was appointed vice labor minister in 1997.

Abe has appointed women to two of the three key executive positions in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and urged business organizations to promote the appointment of women as executives.

Muraki was arrested and indicted for alleged involvement in a fraud case in 2009 when she was director general of the ministry's Equal Employment, Children and Families Bureau.

But she was acquitted and named to a senior post at the Cabinet Office in 2010, before returning to the health ministry last year.