National / Politics

Lawmaker Nakagawa resigns from LDP over extramarital affair

by Tomohiro Osaki

Staff Writer

Liberal Democratic Party Lower House lawmaker Toshinao Nakagawa tendered his resignation from the ruling party on Friday amid cascading revelations of his extramarital affair.

His departure from the LDP follows his decision Tuesday to step down as vice minister of economy, trade and industry.

The downfall of Nakagawa, a scion of an elite political family, was triggered by a scandal scooped by the weekly tabloid Shukan Shincho, which ran a five-page feature this week detailing the father of three’s sexual romps and quoted his former mistress, who is not named, as calling him a “paranoid” control freak.

The 47-year-old mistress, who claims she had sex with Nakagawa, told the magazine she broke up with the lawmaker after finding out he was in a relationship with fellow LDP lawmaker Megumi Maekawa.

Nakagawa’s wife has been diagnosed with cancer, the magazine reported.

On Thursday, Nakagawa updated his Facebook page to apologize to his supporters and blamed his misdeeds to “lack of virtue.”

The former TV Tokyo reporter initiated his illicit relationship with the mystery woman in 2011, according to Shukan Shincho. In September 2013, the two held a mock wedding ceremony in Hawaii in the presence of a churchman.

“We couldn’t get married because he had a wife, so I asked him to let me at least wear a wedding dress for him,” the mistress told the magazine.

But what started as a sweet relationship soon took an eerie turn, as the mistress discovered what she regarded as his excessive possessiveness.

His frequent monitoring of her social media activities and incessant calls were enough cause for her to leave him once, but the two soon reconciled. The revelation that he had been philandering with another woman, however, drove her to end it all: She threatened to tell a tabloid about his adultery.

“He knelt down on the ground in front of my house and kept crying out so hard my neighbor came out to check out the scene. He was half-crazy and I was really scared so I called the police,” she told Shukan Shincho, adding that she filed a stalking report at their recommendation to sever all contact with him.

“I have to question him not only as a lawmaker, but as a person,” said Democratic Party President Renho on Thursday. Renho, who goes only by one name, said she believes last year’s resignation of former LDP lawmaker Kensuke Miyazaki, who cheated on his wife while she was pregnant, had set a bad precedent.