Senior lawmaker Katsuya Ogawa on Thursday tendered his resignation from the Democratic Party over the alleged assault of an elementary school girl by his son, who said he intended to molest her.
Ogawa, 54, secretary-general for DP lawmakers in the Upper House, submitted his resignation to party leader Kohei Otsuka, who took office on Tuesday.
At a news conference, Ogawa said he decided to leave the DP because he does not want to cause trouble for the party. He does not plan to resign as a lawmaker and will remain as an independent.
According to Ogawa, police telephoned him on Wednesday and told him they were questioning his 21-year-old son, Yosuke, over suspected assault.
“I don’t know (the) details of the case, but I want to apologize to the girl and her family,” Ogawa said.
Ogawa, a native of Hokkaido, won a Diet seat for the first time in the 1995 Upper House election. He was returned to the chamber three times.
While the Democratic Party of Japan, the main predecessor of the DP, was in power from 2009 to 2012, he served in prominent posts such as special adviser to the prime minister and senior vice defense minister.
The Saitama Prefectural Police on Thursday arrested Yosuke Ogawa, a sophomore at Nihon University, for allegedly causing the girl to fall down by grabbing her clothes on a street in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, on Tuesday afternoon. The girl, a lower grade student, was on her way home from school.
According to the police, Yosuke Ogawa admitted to the charges, saying he assaulted the girl with the intention of molesting her. Investigative sources said he also hinted at involvement in two other reported cases of young girls being touched in the city on Oct. 20. The sources said he expressed an attraction to elementary school girls in the lower grades.