TOKYO (TR) – Mac Akasaka, a perennial candidate for Tokyo Governor who is known for campaigning in a number of costumes, has been accused of sexually assaulting a female supporter at his residence two years ago, according to a weekly magazine.
The March 3 issue of Shukan Gendai claims that Akasaka, 69, entertained the woman at a family restaurant in the capital’s Minato Ward before taking her back to his residence and sexually assaulting her.
Akasaka offered an out-of-court settlement of 30 million yen. However, the woman, 42, declined the offer. “I want an acknowledgement of the facts and an apology,” the woman was quoted by the magazine.
The incident took place following a gathering of supporters at an outlet of chain Saizeriya in the Akasaka area on April 17, 2016. “About 20 of us participated in what was a drinking party for members of what is basically his fan club,” the woman remembered. “We got the bill at 9:00 p.m. I recall that by around 10:00 p.m. most of the participants had returned home but several were still around.”
Her next memory is Mac’s face — right before her eyes. “He was covering me,” she said. “‘What are you doing?’ I asked him. He responded, ‘What men and women do.’ He then continued having sex [with me].”
She was in Akasaka’s residence.
“I did not know if it was a dream or reality, but my mind was upset,” she told the magazine. “I felt hopeless while thinking that [the act] would go on forever, but it was over in about 5 or 10 minutes.”
She did not consent to engaging in sex, she told the magazine.
“It was an unusual situation that I had never experienced before,” she said. “I thought about raising my voice [in objection], but I was afraid.”
So, she decided that they should talk.
“Mac said, ‘Because of this, you will not help in any [upcoming] elections?'” she said. “‘That’s not true; I will,’ I told him in the affirmative.”
The woman has no recollection of going from the restaurant to Akasaka’s residence, and she resolved to find out why.
“Are you threatening me on my birthday?”
On September 18 of that same year, she sent a congratulatory email — as something of a pretext to re-establish contact — to him since it was his birthday. He responded by calling her. “I asked him, ‘What happened [that night]?’ ‘Are you threatening me on my birthday?’ he snapped back. I knew then that I could not forgive him,” she told the magazine.
After telling Akasaka that she was unconscious at the time of the incident and is currently enduring suffering, he claimed that the sex was consensual.
The woman then consulted with the Akasaka Police Station. At the end of the year, a criminal complaint accusing him of quasi-rape, which occurs when the victim is unable to resist the attack, was lodged.
Akasaka, whose real name is Makoto Tonami, was born in Aichi Prefecture. After being employed at trading company Itochu Corp. for 25 years, he became a politician with a most unique platform. On numerous occasions, he has entered the Tokyo gubernatorial election as a candidate of the Smile Party. He also presides over the Smile Therapy Association.
During campaign speeches in front of major train stations in the capital, he is often attired in a costume, including that of Superman or Santa Claus. Videos of his speeches have garnered immense popularity on YouTube. “Have you been smiling lately?” he has asked in the speeches.
“She said she would have sex with me”
During an interview with Shukan Gendai, Akasaka reiterated his claim that the sex was consensual. “At the restaurant, she said loudly that she loved me. She also said that she would have sex with me,” he told the magazine.
According to Akasaka, the pair embraced in his living room after walking to his residence from the restaurant. He then invited her to his bed with a kiss before removing her clothes. “There was no resistance [on her part],” he said in supporting his claim.
In the aforementioned conversation on the telephone, Akasaka told the woman that he had a security camera set up in his living room. When pressed by the magazine about its presence, he confirmed its existence, saying, “In the past, I had a female employee from an escort service steal my wallet. But I did not have it turned on [at the time of the incident].”
On January 12 of this year, police searched Akasaka’s residence. Thereafter, his lawyer offered the woman an out-of-court settlement of up to 5 million yen on the condition that she not disclose the incident. After she declined the offer, the amount was raised several times until it reached the 30-million-yen figure.
The woman is adamant about receiving an apology. “Mac keeps upping the amount of money and urging a settlement, but he continues to argue that there was consent,” she said. “He does not seem to be reflecting back [on his actions].”
When asked by the magazine why he offered the settlement while claiming the sex was consensual, Akasaka said that he is concerned about the unified series of local elections in spring of next year. “If an article comes out, even a groundless one, it is the end of me,” he said.
Indeed, Akasaka has not been smiling lately.