‘YouTuber MP’ sacked from Japan’s parliament because he never turned up to work
An MP-turned-celebrity gossip YouTuber will make history as the first legislator in Japan to be expelled from the chamber without ever having taken a seat.
Because Yoshikazu Higashitani never showed up for work, his Senate colleagues expelled him on Tuesday.
After being elected to Parliament seven months ago, he has missed every single day of the sessions of the parliament.
He lost his standing as a result of his persistent absence, according to the discipline committee of the parliament.
Mr. Higashitani was voted by voters to the upper house in July. On YouTube, where he is well-known for his celebrity gossip films, he goes by the screen name GaaSyy.
The most serious sanction for a legislator is expulsion. This is the first time an MP has been ousted due to persistent absence; it has only happened twice since 1950.
Later this week, the chamber is expected to formally announce its choice.
The legislator, often known as “No-show MP,” is thought to reside in the United Arab Emirates.
He has thus far declined to attend parliament because, according to Japanese media, he is concerned about being detained in connection with fraud accusations and celebrity-related defamation lawsuits.
He is one of the two representatives chosen from the opposition Seijika-joshi-48 party. The NHK Party, a single-issue organisation, only advocates for changes to Japan’s state broadcaster.
For promotional purposes, the party frequently changes its name, according to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.
This Monday, the parliament insisted that Mr. Higashitani travel to Tokyo to personally apologise for his absence in person in the chamber. This was going to be the last chance for atonement, according to lawmakers.
However, Mr. Higashitani did not attend the plenary session.
Instead, he made an announcement about his trip to Turkey and his intention to give his salary to the Turkish earthquake assistance on his YouTube channel.
The Senate was enraged by his absence, and this week its members decided to kick him out.