Japanese lower house parliamentarian Genichiro Sata is set to give up his seat and resign in light of a sex scandal that emerged from a recent tabloid report. Sata, chairman of the House of Representatives’ steering committee and member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), has apparently approached lower house speaker Bunmei Ibuki and the leaders of the LDP on Thursday to express his intention to quit on the same day that a number of newspapers ran a story about him and his “inappropriate behavior” with a young woman.
According to Shukan Shincho, a weekly tabloid magazine, the 60-year-old lawmaker allegedly paid a female Tokyo University student for sexual encounters – the two met in December last year at a club in the Ueno district. Sata allegedly paid 40,000 yen (around 400 US dollars) for each time they met – 20 times, as the story revealed – rendezvousing in hotels in Tokyo’s Yushima area. With the emergence of this story, some members of the party, including LDP’s coalition partner New Komeito, have called for the lawmaker’s resignation. Most of the members are of the opinion that Sata’s actions might prove damaging to the party’s cause in the upcoming Upper House elections in less than a month.
This is not the first time Sata, who hails from Gunma Prefecture, has been involved in controversial circumstances. In December 2006, Sata also resigned from his position as state minister in charge of administrative reform, as a fund-raising scandal was unearthed and his name was implicated. It just seems slightly amusing for us that a man of his track record would be elected into the lower house after that incident. The LDP will no doubt take this issue seriously, as it looks for a strong result in the upcoming polls.
[via Tokyo Reporter]