Japan parliament expels YouTuber MP who never came to work

YouTuber-turned-lawmaker GaaSyy was elected last July but failed to attend a single session.

Japanese Youtuber and now expelled MP Yoshikazu Higashitani . He is wearing a sober suit in a screen grab from his TikTok channel.
[Screen grab/ TikTok @gaasyy_ch]

Yoshikazu Higashitani, known by his online pseudonym GaaSyy, has become the first MP expelled by Japan’s parliament in more than 70 years, after he failed to show up for work.

The parliament has expelled only two people since 1950, but this is the first time an MP has been expelled due to persistent absence.

Higashitani is one of two members elected from the Seijika Joshi 48, or “Politician Girls 48” opposition party, formerly known as the NHK Party.

The single-issue party campaigns for changes to Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK.

Since being elected in July 2022, Higashitani has failed to attend a single session.

Nicknamed “No-show MP”, he is a former businessman and YouTuber, famous for his celebrity gossip videos.

He has remained in Dubai, claiming he is at risk of arrest if he returns to Japan.

He reportedly faces questioning over alleged defamation of some Japanese celebrities related to his YouTube videos.

Last week, parliament asked Higashitani to deliver an in-person apology in the Tokyo chamber, in his final chance at redemption.

Instead, he announced on his YouTube channel that he was going to Turkey and that he planned to donate his salary to Turkish earthquake relief.

Hamada Satoshi, the other member of his party, argued that it was illegal to expel Higashitani because of his absence from the sessions.

Higashitani will be replaced in the house by another member of the party.

Source: News Agencies