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Diet accepts resignation of ex-LDP lawmaker Tsuyoshi Tabata following rape accusation

TOKYO (TR) – The resignation of Tsuyoshi Tabata from the House of Representatives was accepted on Friday, a move that follows allegations by a woman that he raped her last year, reports TBS News (Mar. 1).

At the Diet, Tadamori Oshima, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, asked if there were any objects to the resignation of Tabata, 46, who already resigned from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party last week. No such objections were heard.

The lawmaker tendered his resignation as a Diet member on Wednesday, one week after publication of an article in Shukan Shincho in which the woman said that Tabata sexually assaulted her while she was passed out inside her apartment in Nagoya after a session of drinking on December 24. She also said that the lawmaker took tosatsu (or voyeur) footage of her.

“I absolutely will not forgive Tabata-san for [what happened] on Christmas Eve, and I think that he should be punished openly,” the victim told the magazine.

The woman, aged in her 20s, met Tabata, a divorcee, on Facebook last summer. Thereafter, he suggested they meet for dinner to discuss a “work-related” matter. They began their relationship in October.

Tsuyoshi Tabata
Tsuyoshi Tabata (NHK)

The woman lodged a criminal complaint with Aichi Prefectural Police on February 6. According to her, Tabata offered her an apology and an out-of-court settlement of 1 million yen through his lawyer. However, she refused the payment.

“I think what he did later was awful,” she said in explaining her reasoning for going to the police.

In an issue that hit newsstands on Thursday, Shukan Bunshun includes a claim by a woman who says that Tabata engaged in sex acts with her while she was a second-year high school student in 2010.

After graduating from Waseda University, Tabata joined the Bank of Japan. The politician first won a seat in the Lower House election in December, 2012.

In 2017, Tabata was victorious for the third time in the Lower House in the Tokai bloc under the proportional representation system.