Ex-LDP lawmaker resigns Diet seat amid rape allegations

A former Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker on Wednesday tendered his resignation to parliament after facing pressure to do more than just quit the ruling party over allegations that he raped a woman he was dating in December.
Tsuyoshi Tabata, a 46-year-old three-time member of 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 scandal.
The woman has filed a criminal complaint against Tabata in Aichi Prefecture, alleging that he sexually assaulted her at her home while she was sleeping after a wining and dining session, investigative sources said.
Tabata is also suspected to have committed an offense by taking photos of the woman with his mobile phone while she was naked, 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 other blunders.
One of them was 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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