Yoshitada Konoike

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Yoshitada Konoike (鴻池 祥肇, Konoike Yoshitada, born November 28, 1940) is a Japanese politician of the Liberal Democratic Party and member of the House of Councillors in the Diet (national legislature). A native of Amagasaki, Hyōgo and graduate of Waseda University, he was elected to the House of Representatives for the first time in 1986 after an unsuccessful run in 1983. After losing his seat in 1993, he was elected to the House of Councillors for the first time in 1995 and is currently serving his fourth 6-year term.

In July 2003 Konoike caused controversy when he commented on an ongoing murder case, saying that the parents of the accused "should be paraded through the city and decapitated".[1] He apologized for the comments but one week later he commented on a different case, in which four child sex slaves escaped from the house of a dead captor, saying "we don't know if the girls are victims or assailants", and added, "if you're arguing the girls were bought as slaves, you assume they have no responsibility".[2] Konoike's comments were seen as problematic as he was serving as deputy head of a government department set up to address the issue of youth crime and unemployment at the time, which led Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to make a public statement that any further such comments would not be tolerated.[2] In 2007, when asked to comment on an unrelated murder case, he said, that "they should be paraded through the ci... no, I'm not allowed to say that, am I?"[citation needed]

Konoike was removed from his post as deputy chief cabinet secretary on May 13, 2009 and was admitted to a mental hospital after the weekly magazine Shukan Shincho revealed that he had used his government shinkansen free pass to travel to Atami to spend several days with a mistress.[3] He was also expelled from the Hyogo branch of the party, but was subsequently readmitted to the party on 30 August 2010.[4]

Konoike was elected to the House of Councillors for his fourth consecutive term in the July 2013 election and unsuccessfully contested the ballot to replace Hirofumi Nakasone as the LDP's leader in the house. He lost the ballot to Kensei Mizote 82-31.[5]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "「犯罪者の親を打ち首に」 鴻池氏が問題発言" ["Decpaitate the criminal's parents" Konoike's problematic comment]. 11 July 2003. Archived from the original on July 22, 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "加害者か被害者か分からず 女児監禁事件で鴻池氏" ["we don't know if the girls are victims or assailants" Konoike on girls' confinement case]. 18 July 2003. Archived from the original on 14 August 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2016. 
  3. ^ Ito, Masami, "Cabinet member exits after tryst", Japan Times, May 14, 2009.
  4. ^ "自民・鴻池氏が兵庫県連に復帰/統一地方選前に結束" [LDP's Konoike returns to Hyogo party before regional elections] (in Japanese). Shikoku Shimbun. 31 August 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2016. 
  5. ^ "自民参院議員会長に溝手氏" [Mizote elected LDP Councillors' leader] (in Japanese). Nikkei. 30 July 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2016. 

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