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Tadashi Sakurai, the former mayor of Tomakomai, Hokkaido, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of groping a woman in a restaurant last month, an incident that forced him to resign from office.

Sakurai, 52, is suspected of touching the 45-year-old female owner of the restaurant in the city between 1 and 3 a.m. on May 5, police said. He resigned May 31.

“I thought (touching her) was excusable as she and I were in a very close relationship,” he said.

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