Komae’s deputy mayor calls on mayor to quit, says sex harassment claims true

Kyodo

Komae’s deputy mayor urged the mayor to resign Monday, saying an internal probe confirmed he had sexually harassed women on the city’s staff.

Deputy Mayor Minoru Mizuno said in a news conference that two cases of harassment by Mayor Kunihiko Takahashi, 66, were confirmed in an investigation opened after the allegations surfaced earlier this year in the western Tokyo suburb.

The results were reported to the mayor and other Komae officials in an ad hoc board meeting Friday, according to city officials. Takahashi did not say whether the findings were true, they said.

The Japanese Communist Party obtained a document detailing the sexual harassment allegations. The document said one woman complained that the mayor touched her buttocks in an elevator. Another said he forced her to drink from a glass he had used. Takahashi denied the accusations.

“It is despicable to use his position to do such a thing. I want him to decide himself how he should take responsibility,” Mizuno said.

About 10 members of the Komae Municipal Assembly on Monday submitted a petition signed by 817 people calling for Takahashi’s resignation.