National / Politics

LDP lawmaker Tsuyoshi Tabata to leave ruling party over affair

JIJI

Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Tsuyoshi Tabata has tendered his resignation from the ruling party due to his affair with a woman, sources related to the party said Friday.

The LDP’s leadership team is expected to approve the resignation of Tabata, 46, soon, according to the sources. Some LDP executives are also urging Tabata to resign from the Diet’s Lower House.

The scandal is expected to deal a blow to the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is also LDP president, in the run-up to the unified local elections in April and the Upper House election this summer, critics said.

A former employee of the Bank of Japan, Tabata won a Diet seat for the first time in the 2012 Lower House election, in which he ran on the LDP’s ticket from the Tokyo bloc under the proportional representation system.

He has been elected to the Lower House three times. In the previous Lower House election, in 2017, Tabata gained a proportional representation seat in the Tokai bloc after being defeated in the No. 2 constituency of Aichi Prefecture, which is part of the Tokai region.

He belongs to the LDP faction led by Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of the party.