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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 February 20 - 26  > Ex-Education Minister defends LDP lawmaker accused of sexual assault
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2019 February 20 - 26 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Ex-Education Minister defends LDP lawmaker accused of sexual assault

February 23, 2019

It has come to light that a Liberal Democratic Party heavyweight came under fire with his remark defending the party lawmaker accused of sexual misconduct.

The controversial remark was made by LDP parliamentarian Ibuki Bunmei, who in the past served as Education Minister and Speaker of the House of Representatives, regarding Dietmember Tabata Tsuyoshi’s resignation from the party.

Tabata on February 21 submitted to the LDP headquarters his formal resignation notice from the party after facing a criminal accusation of the alleged sexual assault on his female friend. His resignation was accepted. The LDP did not expel him from the party nor urge him to resign as a Dietmember.

On the same day, at a meeting of an LDP faction to which Tabata belonged, Ibuki concerning the issue of Tabata, said, “If someone wishes to do the same thing as Tabata did, he should do it in an ‘appropriate’ way that would not cause a problem.” This remark totally lacks any sense of ethics or awareness of what constitutes a sexual offense and tramples on women’s dignity and human rights.

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Kasai Akira on February 22 at a press conference in the Diet building said, “The LDP has a reputation for disrespecting women’s human rights, which is extremely anachronistic.” Kasai stressed that despite growing public opposition to sexual violence and harassment, the “do it in an appropriate way” remark was made by an LDP parliamentarian, which indicates how the party lacks awareness of what constitutes human rights violations.

Kasai said that Tabata should resign from office as a matter of course. Kasai quoted Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide as saying that the government will work to eliminate violence against women, and stressed, “Why does not the LDP urge Tabata to step down as a Dietmember? The ruling party’s attitude is called into question.”

Past related articles:
> Koike criticizes LDP as being irresponsible in regard to anti-LGBTQ remarks frequently made by LDP Dietmembers [January 8, 2019]
> Education minister’s remarks show Abe Cabinet’s lack of respect for human rights [February 27, March 1, 2007]
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