Husband of communications minister Seiko Noda is ex-yakuza: report

Shukan Bunshun Sept. 28
Shukan Bunshun Sept. 28

TOKYO (TR) – The husband of lawmaker Seiko Noda, the newly appointed Internal Affairs and Communications Minister, is a former member of a criminal syndicate based in Kyoto, claims a weekly magazine.

According to the September 28 issue of Shukan Bunshun, which hit newsstands last Thursday, her husband, Fuminobu, once served as the executive secretary of the Masayama-gumi, a gang affiliated with the venerable Aizukotetsu-kai.

In February of 2000, the boss of the Masayama-gumi was handed a prison term in a murder case. The following month, the gang broke up.

With a history dating back to the Edo Period (1603-1868), the Aizukotetsu-kai is one of the oldest gangs in the nation’s criminal underworld. The gang is affiliated with the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, the chief rival of the Yamaguchi-gumi, which is Japan’s largest criminal syndicate.

Although Fuminobu left the Masayama-gumi before its dissolution, he has a criminal record in two cases, according to the magazine.

In 1999, Fuminobu was cited for document forgery for presenting the driver’s license of his brother following a traffic violation. Six years later, he was accused of distributing spam email to mobile phones while serving as manager of an adult site.

Challenge Abe in 2018

Noda, 56, married Fuminobu in 2011. She divorced her first husband in 2006. The native of Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture assumed her current post in August following a reshuffling of the Cabinet by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

After the appointment, she said that she is prepared to challenge Abe in the next leadership election for Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which is set for September of next year. “In the election, my aim won’t be to defeat the prime minister [but rather to] showcase the LDP’s open democracy to the public,” Noda said, according to the Japan Times (Aug. 4).

Noda has been a proponent female representation in society and politics. In 2015, she challenged Abe, saying that large structural reforms “need the power of women” for credibility and traction.

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