Scandal-tainted Kinoshita resigns as Tokyo assembly member

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Fumiko Kinoshita announces her intention to resign at a press conference at the Tokyo metropolitan government building in Tokyo on Monday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Tokyo metropolitan assembly member Fumiko Kinoshita, indicted without arrest after causing a car accident while driving without a license, has resigned from her post.

“I have received severe opinions from many people,” Kinoshita told a press conference at the metropolitan government office on Monday. She added that she is sorry for not following traffic regulations.

Kinoshita caused the accident during the campaign period for the July assembly election.

The metropolitan assembly has twice unanimously adopted a resolution demanding her resignation.

On Nov. 9, Kinoshita told the assembly president that she had no plans to quit. She was told to attend a session of the assembly’s steering committee Thursday, but she did not show up saying she had poor health.

At the press conference, Kinoshita said she decided to resign after seeking advice from her political mentor, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike.

Koike said that Kinoshita should resign to focus on resolving problems related to the accident, according to the outgoing assembly member.

Koike also offered to help Kinoshita if she starts again after fully repenting of her acts, Kinoshita added.

Kinoshita said she has donated the ¥1.9 million in pay she received as an assembly member while she was absent.

Regarding her failure to disclose the accident swiftly, she said she was too much preoccupied with her campaign and that she did not mean to conceal the accident.

Kinoshita was elected for the first time to the assembly in 2017.

Although Kinoshita was re-elected July 4 this year, two days after the accident, she was expelled from regional political party Tomin First no Kai (Tokyoites first group) after it emerged that she had been driving without a license.