Rep. Eriko Imai, who has a broken bone, faces a huge backlash from her party for “coming to the Diet in a wheelchair! | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Rep. Eriko Imai, who has a broken bone, faces a huge backlash from her party for “coming to the Diet in a wheelchair!

Imai suffered a serious pelvic fracture after falling from the back of a bull during a bullfighting festival in Tokunoshima, Japan.

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On May 10, Eriko Imai arrived at the Diet in a wheelchair; when FRIDAY directly interviewed her, she smiled shyly.

She said, “I’m fine. The pain is in my right hip, but I’m taking painkillers, so I’m fine!

On May 10, Eriko Imai, 38, a member of the House of Councilors of the Liberal Democratic Party, answered FRIDAY’s direct question with a smile. On May 4, Imai participated in a bullfighting festival in the town of Tokunoshima, Kagoshima Prefecture, and fell from the back of a bull. She suffered a serious pelvic fracture. Six days later, Mr. Imai arrived at the Diet in a wheelchair to attend a meeting of the Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology Committee. When I spoke to her after the committee meeting, she responded as shown at the beginning of this article.

Now she is facing headwinds from within her own party, according to an LDP official. A source in the Liberal Democratic Party said, “It is inevitable.

She will be reelected to the upper house in July, but her reelection is in doubt. Besides, her important role as a high-profile candidate is to make speeches in support of candidates in various regions. However, this injury is likely to hinder her campaign. Managing one’s own personal crisis is part of a politician’s job.

Political journalist Koichi Kakutani also commented.

In the six years since he was elected, he has not made any significant achievements, and the public probably remembers only his affair with a dentist. He had a chance to make a comeback on issues such as the base problem and the unexploded ordnance problem, taking advantage of the fact that he is from Okinawa, but he couldn’t do it. With Akiko Santo, 80, who was behind him, retiring, it is expected that they will disappear from politics together.”

For Mr. Imai, the Upper House election is “my graduation. graduation (I hope this Upper House election will not be “my graduation” for Imai. ……

Unpublished article by Imai Eriko, a member of the House of Councillors: “Attending the Diet in a wheelchair,” a major headwind blowing from within the party.

From the June 3, 2022 issue of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO Takeshi Kinugawa

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