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LDP legislator deletes tweet saying female opposition members 'far from sexual harassment'

Opposition party legislators dressed in black and holding up "#Me Too" placards, protest against sexual harassment, at the Diet on April 20, 2018. (Mainichi)
Takashi Nagao (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) legislator Takashi Nagao deleted a tweet on his Twitter account about female opposition legislators who were protesting against sexual harassment, and apologized on April 22, after his own post was criticized as sexual harassment.

The female legislators launched their protest in the wake of allegations that Finance Ministry top bureaucrat Junichi Fukuda sexually harassed female reporters. Japanese broadcaster TV Asahi earlier announced that one of its reporters was allegedly a victim of harassment by Fukuda.

On April 20, Nagao, 55, posted a photo of the female legislators who were dressed in black, holding up "#Me Too" placards. While stating, "Sexual harassment is something that must not happen," he continued, "At least to me, these people are far from sexual harassment. I declare that I will never sexually harass any of them!"

Nagao's post sparked a backlash, with one user asking, "Is this a declaration that you choose who you sexually harass?" and another saying, "This statement itself is sexual harassment."

Nagao, a House of Representatives member elected from the Osaka No. 14 constituency, deleted the tweet, and apologized, saying in a statement online, "I seriously accept claims that it constituted sexual harassment."

(Japanese original by Takashi Okamura, City News Department, Osaka Head Office)

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