Japan Opposition Party Lawmaker Suidobashi Resigns

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Hakase Suidobashi

Tokyo (Jiji Press) — Opposition party lawmaker Hakase Suidobashi resigned on Monday as a member of the House of Councillors, the Upper House of the Diet, Japan’s parliament.

The comedian-turned-politician of Reiwa Shinsengumi, whose real name is Masayoshi Ono, had stopped his political activities in October last year after being diagnosed with depression.

At a press conference Monday, Reiwa Shinsengumi leader Taro Yamamoto said that Suidobashi submitted his resignation to Upper House President Hidehisa Otsuji. Suidobashi’s resignation was approved the same day.

According to Yamamoto, Suidobashi had repeatedly indicated his intention to resign since last December. “He seems to have been increasingly frustrated that he couldn’t work as a lawmaker,” Yamamoto said.

Suidobashi, a member of comedy duo Asakusa Kid, won his seat under the nationwide proportional representation system in the Upper House election last July.

Yamamoto said the vacant seat will be filled in rotation by five people who were on the party’s proportional representation candidate list for the election, switching every year until the remaining term ends in July 2028.

The five are Kusuo Oshima, Uiko Hasegawa, Megumu Tsuji, Toru Hasuike and Karen Yoda, who are set to hold the seat in the order on the list.

“We’ll use the remaining term effectively. It’s an attempt to make the most of votes, not appropriation” of the seat for the party’s own gain, Yamamoto said.