Former Abe Cabinet members had an overnight affair on the “Good Marriage Day”. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Former Abe Cabinet members had an overnight affair on the “Good Marriage Day”.

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Teru Fukui holding hands with a woman other than his wife at Chichibu-gahama beach in Mitoyo City, Kagawa Prefecture, on November 22.

On November 22, known as “Good Marriage Day,” Chichibu-gahama beach overlooking the Seto Inland Sea in western Kagawa Prefecture was bustling with couples despite the fact that it was a weekday. There were nearly 15 couples, including a couple letting their child play and a couple of student-like friends. Then a man and a woman, who looked like a mature couple, appeared on the beach.

The woman caught up with the man, who was wearing a coat, a little later, carrying a bag. They seemed to be enjoying themselves as they walked to the edge of the surf, holding hands in the form of alternating fingers and toes. On the way there, the man took a picture of her with his smartphone, sitting back as if looking for a good angle. He and the woman took turns taking pictures of each other and were delighted when they saw the screen. After a 40-minute stroll, they entered an inn overlooking the beach, had dinner, and spent the night together.

Incidentally, a full-course dinner for the two would cost about 150,000 yen per night, depending on the day. It is very unaffordable for the average person. A tourist who was on the beach revealed, “The way they were walking on the beach was just like that.

They looked like a couple of lovers walking on the beach, a young couple rather than a mature couple. Other mature couples were not so close to each other.

Chabokukehama Beach is said to be the “mirror in the sky of the Seto Inland Sea,” and it has become a hot topic on social networking sites, especially at dusk, as a spectacular, photo-worthy view. If the man knew this as well and invited the woman to join him, it would be heartbreaking.

The man’s name is Teru Fukui. After graduating from Nada High School and the University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Engineering, he joined the Ministry of Construction, where he was first elected in 2000 to the Liberal Democratic Party in Kochi’s 1st Constituency, and since then has been elected seven times, including in 2018 as Minister of Cabinet Office Special Missions (Okinawa and Northern Affairs, Consumer and Food Safety, and Ocean Policy) in the fourth Shinzo Abe Cabinet. He was unsuccessfully elected to the House of Representatives in October 2021. He is currently an advisor to several companies. In his private life, he is married with two children.

If the woman he was leaning on had been his wife, it would have been a fitting tribute to her on “Good Marriage Day,” but she was not his wife. It was Masako Matsubara, married and president of Kankyo Kagaku Sekkei, a construction consulting firm in Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture that specializes in water supply and sewage systems. Mr. Fukui also serves as an advisor to the company, and it appears that they became acquainted over the past year. A source in Nagata-cho who knows Fukui’s work revealed, “Fukui has a warm and gentle personality.

When I call him on his day off, he texts me, ‘Can I call you now? He is the kind of person who, when calling someone on his day off, would text them and ask, ‘Can I call you now? Before he became a minister, he would come to Nagatacho by train, not by car. He was an excellent worker, but perhaps he was a bit naive.

They held hands for most of the 40 minutes they were on the beach.

In April 2009, “Shukan Gendai” published an article titled “LDP Elite Delegate’s Onsen Gorgeous Outing: ‘HARENCHI PHOTOS'” and revealed some of his haunting photos taken at Arima Onsen. Furthermore, in 2018, when he was in office as a minister, “Shukan Bunshun” reported on Fukui’s female problems and affairs in rapid succession.

Although he is no longer a member of the Diet, Mr. Fukui is often seen in Nagata-cho visiting Mr. Toshihiro Nikai, a powerful figure in the LDP. Furthermore, next February, a mayoral election will be held in Kitakyushu, and one of the candidates, Kazuhisa Takeuchi, is Fukui’s daughter-in-law. Did it not occur to him that if his father-in-law’s adulterous dating affair came to light, it would affect the outcome of the election in no small measure?

When we visited Mr. Fukui at home to talk to him himself, his wife came out first.

–Unbeknownst to his wife, he had a date with Mr. Matsubara, the president of a construction-related company in Okayama, on a beach and stayed overnight at the same inn. ……

Is he married? How old is he? Hee, (tears in his eyes) I understand. (I’ll let him know. I understand your story.”

–I am sorry, even though it was not your wife’s fault.

I am old and have been through a lot. I don’t think anyone can beat me.

— “I am a former minister, and my son-in-law (Mr. Kazuhisa Takeuchi) is also planning to run for mayor of Kitakyushu, so I can’t say he is a private person. ……

“I didn’t ask my daughter-in-law (running for mayor of Kitakyushu) from the beginning, and ……. (I did ask him to run for (Fukuoka Prefecture) governor (which he ran for in 2019). …… Please don’t attach me to that.”

–November 22 is Good Marriage Day, isn’t it?

I’m sorry, it’s not a good married couple.”

–I’m sorry, we’re not a good married couple.

The past is the past, isn’t it? I had a hard time before when a lot of things were written about me using a composite photo. Isn’t it against the law to have something false written about you?”

At the urging of his wife, Mr. Fukui responded to the interview by telephone.

–You are saying that you held hands, but it was not a relationship between a man and a woman?

Mr. Fukui replied, “That’s right. We are elderly people now, yes.

–You stayed overnight, didn’t you?

We were in separate places in a large room. As you can see, the bedrooms are far apart.

–And you held hands?

Well (chuckles), I think it was the atmosphere that made them do it. Even for the elderly.”

–By the way, November 22nd, the day I met Mr. Matsubara, was “Good Marriage Day. ……

Well, I guess a good day for a business trip is a good day for a married couple,” he said. Well, I’m talking about the probability that the day of my business trip coincided with Good Marriage Day.

–The mayor election in Kitakyushu, who is not his son-in-law, got the endorsement of the Liberal Democratic Party. What is the connection?

“It’s not related. That’s zero. Not at all.

The day after our direct interview with Mr. Fukui, Mr. Matsubara took the trouble to call this magazine’s reporter. He clearly denied any male-female relationship and said , “I had prepared materials for you to consider the problems the company was facing and brought my laptop computer, and I was receiving advice from Advisor Fukui there.

However, as for walking along the beach holding hands, he said, “I was having too much fun. I am sorry. It was an extension of our friendship and does not indicate a special relationship,” he said in his defense.

If Mr. Fukui had been asked to consult on work that could not be done at the company and had chosen a lodging house overlooking the beach as the location, it would not be surprising if Mr. Fukui had a word or two in support of Mr. Matsubara, but unfortunately, we cannot sense such “manliness” in his words. Unfortunately, however, there is no sense of “manliness” in Mr. Fukui’s words. Is it too much to ask for “dignity” from a man who has served at the forefront of protecting the nation as a minister?

Two people taking pictures of each other with their phones. Even from a distance, you can sense their excitement.
Even when the footing is bad, their hands stay together. To a stranger, they look like a married couple.
A photo taken in 2002 at Arima Onsen, which was leaked as soon as he became minister in 2018.
Fukui’s daughter-in-law, Kazuhisa Takeuchi, ran unsuccessfully for governor of Fukuoka Prefecture in 2019. He was endorsed by the Liberal Democratic Party, backed by Taro Aso, then deputy prime minister and finance minister, and others (Photo: Kyodo News)

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