• Kyodo

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A former member of the Liberal Democratic Party on Wednesday tendered his resignation to the Diet over allegations that he raped a woman he was dating in December.

Tsuyoshi Tabata, a 46-year-old three-term member in the House of Representatives who had formerly worked at the Bank of Japan, resigned from the LDP last week, but criticism has been growing from both the ruling and opposition parties over the allegation.

The woman has filed a criminal complaint against Tabata in Aichi Prefecture, alleging he sexually assaulted her at her home while she was sleeping, investigative sources said.

Tabata is also suspected of illegally taking naked photos of the woman with his mobile phone, according to the sources. The weekly magazine Bunshun has announced on its website that it will soon report another allegation of his alleged sexual misconduct.

Some third-time lawmakers who were first elected in 2012 when the LDP returned to power have posed a headache for the ruling party by being embroiled in scandals or committing political blunders.

Among them is Kensuke Miyazaki, who had vowed to become the first lawmaker in Japan to take paternity leave. He quit the Lower House in 2016 after admitting to having an affair with a woman while his wife, a fellow LDP parliamentarian, was about to give birth.

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