LDP Members Quit as Division Heads after ‘Inappropriate’ Gathering; Dancer Reportedly Performed in Scanty Outfit

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers Takashi Fujiwara, left, and Yasutaka Nakasone speak to reporters in Oshu, Iwate Prefecture, on Friday.

Takashi Fujiwara, 40, a House of Representatives member in the Liberal Democratic Party, resigned as director of the party’s Youth Division after attending an inappropriate gathering in November, the party said Friday.

Lower house member Yasutaka Nakasone, 42, also stepped down as acting director of the division the same day.

Their resignation could deal a further blow to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, whose Cabinet is mired in stagnant approval ratings.

Fujiwara was elected to the lower house four times from Iwate Constituency No. 3 and Nakasone twice from Gunma Constituency No. 1.

The gathering was held in November at a hotel in Wakayama after a meeting of the Youth Division’s Kinki bloc, and was attended by Fujiwara, Nakasone, local assembly members and others.

A female dancer in a revealing costume performed at the gathering, sources said.

“I apologize for my behavior, which was inappropriate and undermined public trust,” Fujiwara said before reporters in Oshu, Iwate Prefecture, on Friday.

The LDP said that no public funds were used for the gathering.