TOKYO (TR) – In the Diet on Tuesday, Shinjiro Koizumi, the Minister of the Environment, somewhat refuted an article from a weekly tabloid that claimed he used political funds for a tryst with a married woman five years ago, reports Nikkan Sports (Jan. 28).
At the Budget Committee of the lower house of the Diet, the Democratic Party’s Hiranao Honda asked Koizumi, 38, whether the claims in the article were not an example of “[one’s] political and private life mixing.”
The article, which appeared in the January 2-9 issue of Shukan Bunshun, claims that the politician spent about 105,000 yen in political funds to cover a stay for him and the unnamed woman at the Karuizawa Prince Hotel in 2015.
“Generally speaking, I do not deny that other people visit when I stay [at a hotel],” said Koizumi in response.
Koizumi, who was not married at the time of the stay in question, did not acknowledge the presence of the woman mentioned in the article. “There was a conference on and I stayed [at the hotel] with my secretary,” Koizumi added. “It was written in a report.”
There was, however, no denial regarding the use of political funds, which differs from Koizumi’s stance after the magazine hit newsstands in late December.
“I understand that no political funds were used,” Koizumi, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, said at a press conference. “I confirmed [this] with my office, and I recognize that it is being properly treated in accordance with Japan’s laws and regulations.”
Koizumi married television presenter Christel Takigawa last August. She gave birth to a boy earlier this month.
Prior to the birth, Koizumi made headlines when it was learned that he would take paternity leave, which is not typical for a father in Japan.