Japan MP Given the Boot After Never Once Showing Up

GaaSyy, aka Yoshikazu Higashitani, has not entered parliament since his election
By Steve Huff,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2023 3:02 PM CDT
Japan's Parliament Expels MP for 3rd Time Since 1950
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during a Diet session at the Lower House of the Parliament.   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

GaaSyy, real name Yoshikazu Higashitani, is a Japanese gossip YouTuber. Seven months ago he also became an MP in the upper house of Japan's parliament—a tenure that ended Tuesday after he failed to show up even once, leading his Senate colleagues to vote to expel him. It's a punishment only leveled twice since 1950. A formal vote to remove his status is set for later this week. The Japan Times reported in late February that the Upper House disciplinary committee had demanded Higashitani apologize for his absence and warned that more severe measures would follow if he didn't.

Their available choices included a reprimand, an apology from Higashitani in parliament, suspension from parliament, or the most serious option, expulsion. Getting to parliament for that apology would likely have involved a plane flight. The BBC reports Higashitani doesn't even reside in Japan—he's believed to have lived in the UAE since prior to his July election and said in a February statement read in parliament that he fears being "maliciously detained" due to a "false criminal complaint" should he return to Japan. Per the Japan Times, it's alleged that Higashitani defrauded "multiple people" by taking their money and promising a meet-and-greet with members of BTS, the popular Korean boy band. (More Japan stories.)

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