National / Crime & Legal

Akihiro Hatsushika of Japan's CDP opposition party suspected of sexual assault


The Metropolitan Police Department sent papers on the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan’s Akihiro Hatsushika to public prosecutors last week over allegations he sexually assaulted a woman in a taxi in May 2015, according to police sources.

Hatsushika, 50, in his third term as a House of Representatives lawmaker, has denied the allegations against him, the sources said.

He was a member of Ishin no To (Japan Innovation Party), a now-defunct opposition party, at the time of the alleged misconduct.

The alleged sexual assault was reported by the Shukan Bunshun weekly magazine in 2017. Earlier this year, the woman submitted a criminal complaint over the matter to the Tokyo police.

“It’s regrettable that he’s facing the allegations, and we apologize for this,” CDP Secretary-General Tetsuro Fukuyama said. “As he has expressed his readiness to cooperate fully with the investigation, the party is waiting to see a decision by the authorities.”

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