TOKYO (TR) – The Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) Takaki Shirasuka resigned from the party on Wednesday after the emergence of a report detailing his visit to a hostess club earlier this month.
According to the site of tabloid Shukan Bunshun, Shirasuka was in the company of a woman when he visited the club, located in the Azabu Juban area of Minato Ward, between 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. on February 10.
Before that, the lawmaker dined at a French restaurant in Akasaka. He then took a taxi to Azabu Juban. Photographs published by the site showed him at an elevator with a woman.
“I apologize from the bottom of my heart for visiting the [club] during the state of emergency,” Shirasuka said on Wednesday. He added he will not run in the next House of Representatives election.
State of emergency
On January 8, the government declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and three prefectures due to the coronavirus pandemic. The measure requests that bars and restaurants close by 8:00 p.m. It was later extended through March 7.
Shirasuka represents a constituency in Chiba Prefecture. He was once the parliamentary vice education minister.
The resignation was not the first over this issue. On February 1, Jun Matsumoto and two other LDP lawmakers for visiting two hostess clubs the ritzy Ginza district of Chuo Ward January 18.
Also on February 1, Kiyohiko Toyama, then the acting secretary general of Komeito, a coalition partner of the LDP, resigned from parliament for visiting a Ginza hostess club on January 22.