Sata, 60, who is chairman of the House of Representatives’ steering committee, expressed his intention to quit to lower house speaker Bunmei Ibuki and the executive team of the ruling LDP on Thursday, the same day that an article detailing “inappropriate behavior with a woman” hit newsstands.
According to weekly tabloid Shukan Shincho (July 4), the lawmaker paid 40,000 yen for 20 sexual encounters with a female student from Tokyo University he met at a hostess club in the Ueno entertainment district in December of last year. The pair frequented love hotels in the Yushima area of Tokyo.
With the House of Councillors election set for July, members of the LDP and New Komeito, its coalition partner, have called for the resignation of Sata, who is from Gunma Prefecture, over concerns that the scandal will have negative consequences at the polls, the Yomiuri said.
In December 2006, Sata resigned from his post as state minister in charge of administrative reform following the emergence of a fund-raising scandal.