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South Korea’s tourism chief resigns amid soapland allegations

Charm Lee visited a soapland in Yoshiwara on January 1, 2012
Charm Lee visited a soapland in Yoshiwara on January 1, 2012
TOKYO (TR) – South Korea’s German-born tourism chief on Friday announced his resignation following allegations that he visited an adult-entertainment establishment in Tokyo last year, reports Chosun Ilbo (Nov. 16)

On Tuesday, a Korean television station reported that Charm Lee, the president of the Korea Tourism Organization, visited a soapland bathhouse in the Yoshiwara red-light district of Tokyo’s Taito Ward on January 1 of last year.

A Japanese sightseeing company reportedly paid the 70,000 yen fee.

The organization did not deny the Lee’s visit, saying it was a personal matter. The report was broadcast due to an apparent grudge held by a subcontractor whose contract with the KTO expired, the organization said on Wednesday.

Initially, Lee vowed to fight the issue in court in an effort to prove the truth. But he felt he would be unable to carry out his official duties the matter were pursued.

“I see the tremendous burden that has been put on the KTO since the issue broke out and it seems impossible to carry out my duties as a CEO,” Lee said in a statement.