He said, “I’m a first-year college student” and “I’m 18 years old.” It is a common practice for women who work at bars not to give their exact age, affiliation, hometown, etc. because they do not want their identities to be known. (omission) “I see, so you are a first-year college student,” and I was just going along with the conversation in a lighthearted manner.
On July 15, Take Yoshikawa Takeru, 40, a Diet member who was reported in the June 24 issue of Shukan Post (Japanese weekly magazine) to have allegedly been drinking with an 18-year-old female university student, wrote a lengthy rebuttal on his blog, which ran to 5200 characters. As for the reason for his explanation more than a month after the news report, he wrote, “I have been a member of the House of Councillors for more than a year.
It was easy to imagine that even the House of Councillors election would be affected. For this reason, I had intended to remain silent until after the House of Councillors election, and to provide an explanation as soon as possible after the election.
The following is a summary of the report by the Weekly Post
On the night of May 27, Mr. Kikkawa went to a high-class yakiniku restaurant to have drinks and dinner with an “18-year-old college girl,” knowing that she was underage. The two then moved together to a luxury hotel in Odaiba, where they stayed for about an hour and a half. In a direct interview with the magazine, the woman told of their graphic exchange in the hotel and how she was given an allowance of 40,000 yen.
In the beginning, Mr. Kikkawa was very bullish. In response to the “Shukan Post” interview, he stated that he had never given any money to the woman and that he would “make a statement in advance so that the magazine would not publish an article that is not based on fact.
However, the article in the magazine was very detailed. It contained numerous photographs that served as “proof” and specific testimonies from the women. Mr. Kikkawa immediately left the Liberal Democratic Party to which he belonged.
Not “daddy’s play,” but “salary supplement
Mr. Kikkawa denies resigning from the Diet, but disappears from the public eye for a month and goes into “hiding. His lack of accountability and questionable attitude as a member of the Diet drew criticism from his hometown in Shizuoka Prefecture. In a blog entry, he offered an explanation.
Mr. Kikkawa claims that he gave 40,000 yen to the woman, but that it was not a “daddy’s” activity. He said that the woman works at a club in Tokyo and that he went to the yakiniku restaurant to ‘accompany’ her. After dinner, she suddenly announced that she was going to take a day off from the club, so he gave her 40,000 yen to ‘make up the salary,’ and not for the purpose of engaging in daddy activities,” he reasoned. He notes that it was difficult to determine that the woman was underage because she was working at a club where alcohol was served.
He also questions the nature of the reporting, saying that the yakiniku restaurant was a completely private room, but it was also strange that the contents of the conversation were leaked to “Shukan Post. He claims that the woman and the weekly magazine may have teamed up in advance to cover the event. Mr. Kikkawa is planning to file a lawsuit seeking damages based on tortious behavior.
However, there are many aspects of Kikkawa’s claims that make one want to tilt one’s head in the direction of the truth. In an interview with “Shukan Post,” he stated that he had never given money to the woman, but this time he changed his mind and said that he gave her 40,000 yen to “make up” for his salary. There is no clear explanation for the fact that he went to a hotel with her. The Internet has been filled with complaints that he should hold a press conference to explain his actions and answer questions rather than blogging about it.
The reason for the criticism is not only that Mr. Kikkawa refuses to give a public explanation. While the uproar was going on and he was hiding behind a cloud, on June 30 he received a year-end allowance of 2,861,358 yen, which is equivalent to a legislator’s bonus; if you are a legislator as of June 1, you are automatically entitled to receive it. However, some voters said, ‘Since there has been such a fuss, they should return the money.
It is also strange that, despite leaving the party, Kikkawa’s blog and office website still feature the “Liberal Democratic Party” logo and a photo of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. His profile is still listed as “Branch Manager of the 5th Branch of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan for the Shizuoka House of Representatives” (all as of July 18). It could be perceived as if his LDP-approved title is still attached to him. As a member of the Diet, Mr. Kikkawa should answer these questions and criticisms with his own words,” said an opposition party official in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Of course, explaining the situation on his blog is not the end of the matter. Mr. Kikkawa must provide an explanation that will satisfy the public.
Photo： Jiji Press