TOKYO (TR) – The wife of Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara has been under investigation over the death of her former husband, reports weekly tabloid Shukan Bunshun (July 13).
Additionally, the tabloid had in another article released last month claimed that Kihara has an out-of-wedlock child with his mistress.
Kihara denies the claims of the magazine, whose latest issue hit newsstands on Thursday. He is also planning legal action against the publisher of the magazine.
Based on the articles, it is a sordid tale with Kihara at the center.
The story begins with Kihara’s current wife, who is a former hostess. On April 10, 2006, the body of her then husband, 29-year-old Taneo Yasuda, was found inside his Tokyo residence.
The body was soaked in blood. The cause of death of was later revealed to have been loss of blood due to a cut to the throat made with a knife-life object.
As the investigation proceeded, police considered the death to be suspicious. But it was ruled a suicide spurred by Yasuda taking kakuseizaior stimulant drugs.
Yasuda had held a number of jobs, as a model, employee at a fuzoku sex business and a plumber. As a model, he appeared in several magazines.
A former magazine model herself, she was working at a hostess club in the Ginza entertainment district. They had one child together. She was also engaged in an affair.
At one point, Yasuda’s wife and child were living apart from him with the second man. According to testimony from the second man, as conveyed by Bunshun, the day before his body was found, Yasuda returned his wife and child to his home.
She met Kihara through her work the following summer. In October 2015, she gave birth to his child. It was around this time that they married.
At some point, Kihara began a relationship with another woman. In March 2016, his mistress gave birth to his child, according to the magazine.
The investigation into the death of Yasuda stalled for unclear reasons. However, Tokyo Metropolitan Police re-opened the case in the summer of 2018.
The reason for the resumption was the hiring of a new investigator who is tasked with looking into cold cases. This investigator, a woman, found the death of Yasuda to be suspicious.
The resumed investigation included tracking down the second man, who explained what transpired on the day of the discovery: “At that time, I received a phone call from [her] saying, ‘I killed [him].’ When I went to the house, [he] was collapsed and covered in blood. I said, ‘What happened?’ She said, ‘[He] and I had a fight and [he] brought out a knife and told me to kill him if I could. He put the knife in my hand, and I slashed him,’ she confessed.”
By this time, Yasuda’s former wife was married to Kihara. That October, officers searched her residence.
A member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Kihara was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2005. He is a special advisor to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. On June 19, he asked that government ministries and agencies work with private-sector firms regarding reconstruction plans for the Ukraine.
The existence of the mistress was first reported by Shukan Shincho in December 2021.
On June 15, Bunshun published its first article showing Kihara at Tokyo Disneyland with his mistress and the child. Six days later, a person claiming to be the mistress sent a letter to a press club to request that reporting on the matter be halted.
On July 5, Kihara’s attorney sent a three-page letter denouncing the claims in the latest Bunshun article. The document criticizes the Bunshun article as “groundless,” “a fabricated rumor” and “a serious violation of human rights rarely seen in the history of the mass media.”
The document also says that the legal team for Kihara is planning to file lawsuit against Bungei Shunju Ltd., the publisher of Shukan Bunshun.