JapanNews Pick

Japan ruling party exec. admits listing hostess club visits as political spending


mainichi– Kiyohiko Toyama, acting secretary-general for the Komeito party, the junior partner of the ruling coalition, has acknowledged logging more than 110,000 yen (about $1,050) in spending at hostess bars and similar establishments as “dining-out expenses” in a 2019 political funding report.

Toyama, who has admitted to a late-night visit to a hostess bar in Tokyo’s upscale Ginza district during the current coronavirus state of emergency, corrected the funding report on Jan. 29 on the grounds that the spending entries were inappropriate. He has since tendered his resignation as acting secretary-general, which Komeito Secretary-General Keiichi Ishii has accepted.

Toyama revealed the correction to reporters at the Diet after the hostess club spending was pointed out on the internet. The spending report entries were for visits to three hostess clubs in the city of Fukuoka and one bar in Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture. Toyama stated that he had been to the bar, and that his government-paid secretary had gone to the hostess clubs.

“I am keenly aware of my responsibility,” he told reporters, adding, “I want to put effort into responsibly carrying out my duties to regain trust.”

On Toyama’s late-night visit to the Ginza hostess club, Komeito’s Ishii told a Jan. 29 press conference, “Rather than the party dealing out a perfunctory punishment, we would like him to make a substantial and proper walk of atonement. We will give him strict guidance,” indicating there was no plan to punish Toyama.