Ken Hashimoto, Partner of Lawmaker Eriko Imai, Incensed Over Teasing of Sign Language as a Performance | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Ken Hashimoto, Partner of Lawmaker Eriko Imai, Incensed Over Teasing of Sign Language as a Performance

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Ken Hashimoto, also known as Hashiken, is the partner supporting the political activities of Eriko Imai, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party and a member of the House of Councillors.

It seems that he is desperately trying to protect her by putting up a bluff. ……


It seems like Ken Hashimoto, Eriko Imai’s current partner and former extramarital affair, is fiercely trying to protect her.

On March 18th, during the concentrated deliberations of the House of Councillors Budget Committee, attention was drawn to Imai’s partial use of sign language during the question and answer session.

At the beginning, she greeted in sign language, saying

 “Good morning.”

After revealing her interaction with disaster victims with hearing impairments during her visit to Ishikawa Prefecture, which was affected by the Noto Peninsula earthquake, Eriko Imai continued to use sign language in several question and answer sessions. However, she stopped using sign language midway and began answering rapidly.

This led to criticism and articles labeling her actions as “half-hearted performance.” In response, her partner, Hashimoto, expressed his indignation,

“Anyone who claims to be a journalist and writes articles mocking sign language questioning as just a performance, come to me. If you don’t understand the significance of that performance, then quit journalism.”

This sparked somewhat extreme criticisms from ordinary users,

“Isn’t it bad that they’re admitting it’s a performance? lol”

“Before complaining to the journalists, shouldn’t he complain to his partner who can’t even keep promises she made herself? lol”

“Tell her to submit the report quickly! Do what you’re supposed to do before barking at others lol”

Such criticisms have been circulating quite vigorously.


The reference to the smoking area is about a report claiming that Eriko Imai and Mr. Hashimoto were seen smoking together amicably in the smoking room of the House of Councillors. As for the “report,” it undoubtedly refers to the discussion about the training in France by the Women’s Bureau of the Liberal Democratic Party, which became a hot topic last July.

Despite posting, 

“I will provide further activity reports soon!!” 

Regarding the significance of the training in France, no reports have been released.

“Eriko Imai receives criticism demanding report quickly regardless of what she posts, which makes her feel guilty. Recently, she deleted her accounts on social media platforms. It seems she wanted to demonstrate her interest in welfare issues as a legislator by performing sign language during her responses. However, for some reason, she stopped midway.” (Political reporter from a television station)

Even after Eriko Imai deleted her social media accounts, Mr. Hashimoto continues to frequently update his.

Hiroyuki Nishimura, also known as “Hiroyuki,” posted an article on X regarding the illegal gambling issue involving Kazuhira Mizuhara, the former interpreter of Shohei Ohtani, stating, 

“Either way, it’s out.”

 Hashimoto shared this article on X and criticized it, saying, 

“Isn’t it better to wait until the outcome is clear? It’s just entertainment and money-making reporting.”

“Hashimoto has divorced and closed his dental clinic in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture. Currently, he is only known as a staff member of Eriko Imai, with no particularly noticeable activities.

His strong statements and complaints on X might indicate that he is fighting on behalf of Imai, who closed her SNS accounts. However, whether this contributes to improving her image is questionable.” (Wide Na Show Desk)

It remains to be seen what kind of political activities Eriko Imai will undertake with her partner in the future.

  • PHOTO Takeshi Kinugawa

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