Osaka prefectural assembly member Kaoru Nishida’s playful involvement in the Moriguchi city government is too much.
Power harassment of council members and city employees, intervention in the city government – a dubious document of unknown authenticity, filled with scandals that run counter to the era of strict compliance, has hit the Osaka Ishin no Kai.
The subject is Kaoru Nishida, 56, a member of the Osaka Restoration Association.
Mr. Nishida was elected from Moriguchi City and is known as one of the executives of the Osaka Restoration Association, having run in a preliminary election within the association as a candidate for the next lower house election with a view to entering national politics.
Nishida is said to be a front-runner to be the next chairman of the Osaka Prefectural Assembly. However, rumors of power harassment are heard even within the party.’ In 2008, four city council members of the Restoration Association who detained city officials for a long time because of problems in Moriguchi City’s response to the new type of coronavirus were referred to the Article 100 Committee, and at that time, Mr. Nishida was also cited for being present at the incident” (Osaka Restoration Association prefectural council member).
FRIDAY interviewed more than 15 people, including Moriguchi City Council members, city officials, and Nishida’s office officials, to verify the contents of the suspicious documents. Mr. A, a former city councilor who belonged to the Moriguchi branch of the Ishin no Kai, testified that
Mr. A, a former member of the Moriguchi branch of the Restoration Association of Japan, testified, “I was instructed by Mr. Nishida to oppose the vote on a matter in order to harass then Moriguchi Mayor Katsuki Nishibata, with whom I had a rivalry over policy, and I did exactly as he instructed. Mr. Nishida, the head of the Moriguchi branch, smelled that I would cancel my official recognition and interfere in the election, and I had no choice but to obey him. …… After that, I resigned from Ishin in disgust.”
FRIDAY obtained an audio recording purportedly of Mr. Nishida detaining a city official. In the recording, Nishida is heard banging on the desk and saying, “What’s going on with your crisis management awareness? Mr. B, a former city employee who says he was subjected to power harassment, said, “I was detained by Mr. Nishida for a long time.
I feel bad for the citizens that we were detained by Mr. Nishida for so long and were so busy dealing with the situation that we could not take sufficient measures to deal with the corona.
To confirm our suspicions, we directly interviewed Mr. Nishida.
— Several former city council members and former city employees have claimed that they were power-harassed by Nishida.
Who is saying that? Not at all! Surprise, surprise!”
We have also confirmed audio recordings of the city council members raising their voices and slamming desks against city employees.
We have told him that unless he changes his response, he will not be able to protect the lives of the city’s employees, let alone its citizens, but he is not being coercive at all.
–What do you think about the suspicious documents?
I have received six such letters, and all of them have no basis in fact.
The Ishin-no-Kai has been rocked by a string of scandals involving its members, including the expulsion of Osamu Sasagawa, 42, a former Osaka prefectural assembly member, after he was found to have harassed a female city assembly member. Will Nishida be able to prove his innocence to the people of Osaka?
From the September 8, 2023 issue of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Kei Kato (direct attack) Takeshi Kinugawa (suspicious document)