According to the June 10 issue of Shukan Post, Takeh Takehiro Yoshikawa, 40, a former LDP member of the House of Representatives, who has been under daily criticism for allegedly drinking with his father, allegedly drank with an 18-year-old female university student at a high-class yakiniku restaurant, gave her 40,000 yen, and then spent almost an hour and a half in a luxury hotel room.
In response to the news report, Mr. Kikkawa submitted a notice of resignation from the party on October 10. However, he has not appeared in public since then and has remained silent about the allegations. He has apparently not answered phone calls from Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (64), and there are finally calls from within the LDP for him to resign as a member of the Diet because he has not been held accountable.
Why does he continue to hide behind a cloud? It is said that the reason for this is the “Diet member’s bonus” that is due at the end of June.
“No matter how much criticism he receives, as long as he is a Diet member, he will receive his bonus, which will be paid on June 30. The legislator’s allowance varies depending on the time of year and the person receiving it, but if you are a member of the Kikkawa council, you will receive 2,861,358 yen. Of course, he also continues to receive monthly payments for his annual expenses, including a one million yen correspondence allowance,” said a reporter from the political section of a national newspaper.
However, there are other reasons besides bonuses for Senator Kikkawa to continue his hard-line policy. Political journalist Koichi Kakutani says, “Negotiations on terms with the LDP are not going well.”
From the LDP’s point of view, they want to show their responsibility in the form of resigning from the Diet. But from Yoshikawa’s perspective, it is clear that if he resigns here, he will never be able to return to Nagatacho again. In the LDP, it is the faction’s job to encourage him to resign, so they must be trying to convince him that they will take care of him as a faction and that he should keep his distance from politics until the scandal has cooled. If Yoshikawa could agree to those conditions, he would remove his badge, but he would not be able to respond with a simple ‘quit’ without anything else. I don’t think this route will be a good idea”
Behind the slow and sluggish response, the conceit of the LDP can also be seen.
The LDP has a nearly 60% support rate for the Cabinet, and the LDP’s party support rate is over 40%. The LDP is likely to win the Upper House election handily, and there is a mood of easy victory within the party. They are already looking at the power struggle after the Upper House election, and all the factions are taking a wait-and-see attitude, asking, ‘How shall we use the Kikkawa issue for the next power struggle? No one is really interested in solving the problem.
Prime Minister Kishida held a press conference at the close of the Diet session on the evening of March 15.
I believe that we must fulfill our accountability to the people as soon as possible. If you cannot fulfill your accountability, it will be a matter that directly affects your career as a Diet member.
Kishida’s words were harsh. How will the party pursue responsibility for Mr. Kikkawa’s evasive behavior? The party’s competence is being questioned.
Photo： Kyodo News