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Upper House suspends Inoki for a month

Kyodo

The Upper House passed a resolution Friday to prohibit member Antonio Inoki from attending the Diet for 30 days as punishment for visiting North Korea without the chamber’s permission.

The disciplinary action, endorsed by both the ruling and opposition camps, was the first of its kind in the Upper House in more than 60 years. Inoki, a member of Nippon Ishin no Kai, has said he will accept the sanction.

The party earlier this month suspended his party membership for 50 days after the 70-year-old former pro wrestler visited North Korea for six days through Nov. 7.

Inoki, elected to the Diet in July, said he went to North Korea mainly to open an office in Pyongyang for his nonprofit organization to support sports exchanges.

But Inoki also met senior officials, including an uncle and top aide to the reclusive country’s leader, Kim Jong Un.