TOKYO (TR) – House of Representatives member Tsuyoshi Tabata last week left the ruling Liberal Democratic Party following the emergence of accusations by a woman with whom he was in a relationship that he raped her last year.
According to weekly magazine Shukan Shincho (Feb. 28), the incident took place on the night of December 24. The woman, a company employee aged in her 20s and living in Nagoya, tells the magazine that Tabata sexually assaulted her while she was passed out inside her apartment after a session of drinking.
“I absolutely will not forgive Tabata-san for [what happened] on Christmas Eve, and I think that he should be punished openly,” the victim tells the magazine.
The woman 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.
The matter emerged when the woman caught Tabata taking tosatsu (or voyeur) footage of her with his smartphone after she awoke beneath a blanket and fully nude. “Delete that,” she reportedly told him. “Yes, yes, of course,” he responded.
After she confiscated his smartphone, she found more than 200 hundreds tosatsu clips stored inside. They were taken while she and other women were in the kitchen, on the telephone and engaging in sex with Tabata.
During the perusal, she came across footage from — as she calls it — “that night.” To that point, she only recalled drinking at an izakaya restaurant and a grilled chicken yakitori shop. However, much more transpired.
In the clip, the woman sees herself fully nude in her residence with Tabata in his underwear nearby. He then engages in sex with her without a condom while she is passed out.
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 says in explaining her reasoning for going to the police.
After a plenary session of the Diet on February 15, a reporter for the Chunichi Shimbun sought confirmation about the claims of the woman from Tabata. “I don’t know [anything about it],” the politician was quoted by the paper. Through February 19, his office had to responded to a request for comment on the matter.
Tabata tendered his resignation from the LDP earlier this month. The magazine hit newsstands on February 21. That same day, the LDP accepted his retirement.
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.
Tabata has not resigned as a Diet member. Yet there have been rumblings in the press that this scandal could have a negative impact on unified local elections in April and the Lower House election this summer.