NARA (TR) – An apology issued last week by a mayor in Nara Prefecture following revelations that he utilized sex services in Tokyo during business trips has caused an uproar among local citizens, many of whom are seeking his resignation, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (Sept. 5).
On August 31, Ken Namikawa, the 38-year-old mayor of Tenri City, acknowledged that claims by Shukan Shincho (Sept. 7) regarding his usage of so-called “delivery health” services in the capital were correct. “It was morally inappropriate,” the mayor said.
The apology elicited correspondence from some angry Tenri citizens. As of the evening of September 4, an administrative division at the city’s office had received a total of 74 complaints by telephone and email. “As a citizen, I am embarrassed,” one person said. “He should resign at once,” said another.
According to the magazine, which hit newsstands on August 31, Namikawa requested fuzoku-jo (female sex workers) from the services to visit him at his hotel rooms in the capital on two occasions in February and June.
However, some persons contacting the office were supportive of the mayor. “It is thanks to the mayor that the city is as it is now. I will continue to support him,” one person said. “It is not necessary for him to resign.”
“Reflecting on the opinions of citizens”
Namikawa is a native of Osaka. After graduation from the University of Tokyo, he entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2013, he was elected as mayor of Tenri as an independent candidate.
“I am reflecting on the opinions of the citizens,” the mayor was quoted. “I want to continue to work together with this municipal administration.”
The city will hold a general election for mayor on October 1.