OSAKA (TR) – After being expelled from the opposition Japan Innovation Party on Saturday for missing a Diet session in March, lower house lawmaker Sayuri Uenishi is now being accused of funneling political funds to her father, reports the Sankei Shimbun (April 8).
According to a political funds report, a support group of Uenishi has allocated 31,500 yen per month since January of 2013 for the rental of a car for her father. The cost for the rentals totals approximately 800,000 yen.
Uenishi’s father served as a government-paid secretary for the 31-year-old lawmaker immediately after she was first elected in December of 2013. After that, he has worked as a private secretary for Uenishi.
“Rather than rent a car from a company it is cheaper to pay rental fees to her father,” a private secretary or Uenishi told the newspaper.
“It is not Illegal but it is also inappropriate,” a political specialist tells the Sankei.
On March 13, Uenishi cited ill health for her absence from a plenary session that included a vote on the country’s fiscal 2015 budget.
The day before the vote, Uenishi said she visited a Tokyo hospital after suffering from vomiting and diarrhea. However, that night she dined out with another lawmaker in which the pair visited a cabaret “show pub,” according to Tokyo Sports (April 6).
Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, who co-heads the party, made the decision to expel Uenishi after speaking with her.
“Voting on budgets is the most important job for Diet members,” Hashimoto said, according to the Mainichi Shimbun (April 5). “It’s unacceptable she skipped it.”