Opposition Lawmaker Honda Submits Resignation from CDP
Tokyo, July 27 (Jiji Press)--Lawmaker Hiranao Honda on Tuesday submitted his resignation from the major opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan over inappropriate comments he made regarding the age of consent.
At an executive meeting later in the day, the CDP is expected to accept his departure from the party rather than suspending his party membership for a year as had been considered by its leadership.
In a party meeting May 10, Honda, a member of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, the country's parliament, elected from the proportional representation bloc of Hokkaido, northernmost Japan, is believed to have said: "If I, being nearly 50 years old, had sex with a 14-year-old, I would be arrested, even if there was consent. It's strange." The comment drew criticism from both in and outside the party.
Honda withdrew the remark and apologized, and CDP Secretary-General Tetsuro Fukuyama gave him a verbal warning.
The party leadership began considering a harsher punishment after continued criticisms from groups such as those supporting victims of sexual assault. On July 13, the leadership team proposed to the CDP ethics committee a punishment of a one-year suspension from the party.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]