TOKYO (TR) – A lawmaker from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party who announced plans to take paternity leave following the birth of his child engaged in an extra-marital affair, a weekly tabloid claims in an issue set hit newsstands on Wednesday.
According to the February 18 issue of Shukan Bunshun, Kensuke Miyazaki, a 35-year-old lower house member, summoned a 34-year-old female entertainer (whose name was not revealed) from Tokyo to his residence in Kyoto’s Fushimi Ward on January 30.
Six days later, his wife, fellow LDP member Megumi Kaneko, 37, gave birth to a boy in Tokyo. Miyazaki was present for the delivery.
In December, Miyazaki, the representative from Kyoto’s No. 3 district, made the unprecedented announcement that he would be taking child-care leave to set an example for reversing the nation’s declining birthrate.
Miyazaki is believed to be the first male lawmaker to ever take such an action.
Fellow members of the conservative LDP were not supportive. At a press conference on January 7, Hachiro Okonogi, the party’s acting Diet affairs chief, said, “Since this was unexpected, it creates an uncomfortable feeling,” according to the Sankei Shimbun (Jan. 7).
Miyazaki, however, has remained determined to set a precedent. Writing in his blog on the day of the birth of his son, Miyazaki praised his wife during the delivery. “From now, we will carefully nurture this child together,” he wrote.
When contacted by telephone by Shukan Bunshun for comment on the allegations, Miyazaki claimed to be too occupied to speak on the matter and hung up.