A small article published in a local newspaper has triggered a tremor in Fujiidera City, Osaka.
A local newspaper published once a month called “Fureai” suddenly published an article last December titled “What’s going on in Fujiidera City? Fujiidera City. The shocking story claimed that two senior male city hall officials were having an inappropriate relationship with a female city council member. Since then, “Fureai” has repeatedly sent letters of inquiry to the city government, pursuing the issue four times until March of this year. The local people call it the ‘Fureai Quadrilogy,’ and it is getting a lot of attention,” said a Fujiidera city council member.
The woman who is said to be involved is in fact an incumbent city council member. If it is true that a council member had an affair with two senior city hall officials at the same time, it would be an unprecedented scandal. The names of the parties involved were not disclosed in Fureai, but the details have now come to light in an interview with this magazine.
The accused is Yukiko Hanazaki, 57, an independent city councilor. After serving as the city’s chief commissioner for children, she was elected for the first time in the 2007 election. A city council member familiar with the inner workings of the city reveals, “She was born in Fujiidera and is a local resident.
She was born in Fujiidera and served as president of the PTA at a local elementary school. She is popular as a beautiful city councilor with a cheerful personality, so it was a surprise to us. She was having an affair with M and K, both city hall employees. Both are in their 50s and married. They are both married and in their fifties, and both are department manager-level executives.
Hanasaki first had an affair with M around the end of 2008, and then with K around 2009. The relationship with both continued until last fall. In other words, Hanasaki was having a triple affair.
The mayor of Fujiidera City, Kazuki Okada, also conducted a two-day interview last November after receiving a letter of inquiry from “Fureai.
The mayor first summoned Hanasaki and K to the mayor’s office. They admitted their affair and started a lovers’ quarrel in front of the mayor. The mayor then called M and Hanasaki, but M denied the affair. I heard that she replied, ‘We only kissed.
Hanasaki sometimes met with M and K in the waiting room of City Hall.
How did she, a serious city councilor who worked on educational issues and child welfare, fall into triple adultery? When this magazine directly interviewed her, she refused to be interviewed at first, but later revealed the situation in a candid manner over the phone.
She said, “I was a one-person congregation and had no one to talk to, and I was losing confidence. I met the other Mr. K one day when I bumped into him at the ticket gate of Abeno Station. He was probably drunk, and he suddenly hugged me. I didn’t particularly reject him because he was a city executive and I thought it would be better not to make the relationship worse. After that, Mr. K began to approach me, and like Mr. M, we began to have a relationship as we discussed the city government.”
M and K were known to be good friends, but Hanasaki said, “I don’t know if they knew each other that they were having a relationship with me. Hanasaki continues his confession.
I think I was brainwashed by Ms. M and Mr. K. I lost confidence in myself as a council member. As I was losing confidence as a council member, they said to me, ‘Don’t you know this,’ and ‘Don’t talk nonsense. I was given inside information among the staff, and was even shown official documents. That is how I was controlled. I felt that I could not go on like this, so I ended the relationship (around last fall), but somehow I ended up in “Fureai”. Now I feel ashamed of myself.
Fujiidera City Hall responded to this magazine’s inquiry by saying, “We are continuing our investigation,” and when we asked K directly, he did not respond to our questions, saying he was “busy.
Fujiidera City Council Chair Kentaro Hata said, “The council is also investigating the matter.
The two employees have admitted to having an inappropriate relationship. The mayor has told me that he will take some kind of punishment against the employees because this is a situation that will cause a loss of trust among the citizens. （As for Council Member Hanasaki, the council is considering how to deal with him.
Last year, a bribery case involving the selection of textbooks was also uncovered in Fujiidera City, and the public’s attention has been focused on the actions of the staff and city council members. The details of the triple affair and their disciplinary actions should naturally be disclosed to the public.
From the March 31 and April 7, 2023 issues of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Kei Kato