• Kyodo


A 59-year-old assembly member of the town of Kosudo, Niigata Prefecture, filed a complaint with police Thursday claiming that he had been assaulted by Mayor Takashi Sato. Police officials said they will question the mayor over the allegations.

The assemblyman, Shigeru Kibushi, and the mayor were involved in a tussle Wednesday morning during a visit to a nursing home for the elderly that is scheduled to open in April, police said.

Kibushi told police that the 68-year-old mayor began yelling at him as he walked along a corridor of the institution, shouting: “I will not allow you to take credit for (construction of) the nursing home. Get out of here!”

Kibushi reportedly responded to Sato by saying, “You must be drunk,” prompting the mayor to grab the assemblyman by the necktie before punching him in the abdomen up to five times, Kibushi said.

Mayor Sato meanwhile said he only hit Kibushi twice, claiming it was an act of self-defense after the assemblyman hurled himself at the mayor.

Kibushi has been at odds with the the mayor over a dispute in which a local firm built a parking lot on a town-owned plot of land without proper authorization.

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