Ex-lawmaker GaaSyy Arrested upon Return to Japan

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Former House of Councillors lawmaker Yoshikazu Higashitani, who goes by the name GaaSyy, is seen at Narita Airport in Chiba Prefecture on Sunday evening.

The Metropolitan Police Department on Sunday evening arrested former House of Councillors lawmaker GaaSyy, who was wanted for allegedly threatening celebrities in online videos.

GaaSyy, whose real name is Yoshikazu Higashitani, was arrested upon his arrival at Narita Airport. He had returned to Japan from the United Arab Emirates that day.

The MPD obtained an arrest warrant in March for the expelled lawmaker on charges including violating the Law on Punishment of Physical Violence and Others. At the request of the National Police Agency, Interpol issued an international arrest warrant for Higashitani in April.

In late May, the NPA and the MPD dispatched investigators to the UAE, where Higashitani was staying, to urge local authorities to repatriate him as soon as possible. The UAE authorities contacted the Japanese side Sunday, saying that he would be sent back to Japan.

He is believed to have been effectively deported from that country.

According to a senior MPD officer, Higashitani, 51, is suspected of repeatedly making threatening and defamatory remarks about three men — a celebrity, a businessperson and a designer — in videos posted on YouTube between February and August last year.

One of the men is said to have been forced to withdraw from his business activities.

Higashitani was expelled from the upper house in March for failing to attend any Diet sessions since he was elected in July 2022.