OSAKA — Osaka Gov. “Knock” Yokoyama told a news conference Tuesday that he would “take seriously” Monday’s anticipated ruling in the sexual harassment lawsuit against him, which he did not contest. He also told the day’s regular news conference that he would pay compensation if the court orders him to do so. A recent opinion poll conducted by an Osaka-based private television network showed that people who said they did not support the governor outnumbered those who did. Asked about the survey results, Yokoyama said, “I feel I need to modestly accept (the results). I will proceed with my official duties solemnly to restore the trust of the people of the prefecture.” He also revealed his intention to sue the publishing house Kodansha Ltd. over its Weekly Gendai magazine article that reported that the governor had molested a masseuse. Yokoyama has already filed a criminal complaint charging libel against a manager of the woman’s massage shop. Meanwhile, it was learned the same day that a female lawyer who had served as a member of the prefecture’s council on antidiscrimination policies, an advisory panel to the governor, has decided not to continue in the position for another term. The lawyer joined the legal team representing the college student who filed the sexual harassment complaint against the governor. When the prefectural government asked the 33 members of the council if they wanted to remain in their post for the next two years, because their current term was to expire in the end of October, only the lawyer resigned, according to a prefectural official. “As I represent the plaintiff, it would be difficult for me to remain as a member of the council,” the official quoted her as saying.
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