Showbiz gossip YouTuber-turned-politician – who NEVER turned up for work after being elected seven months ago – becomes first in Japan to be kicked out of parliament without ever setting foot inside it
- Yoshikazu Higashitani, known as GaaSyy on YouTube, was elected in June
- Despite earning £110,000 since then as an MP, he has never once attended
A celebrity gossip YouTuber-turned MP is set to become the first politician in Japan to be kicked out of parliament without ever actually setting foot inside it.
Yoshikazu Higashitani, known as GaaSyy on YouTube, was expelled by his colleagues in Japan’s senate for never turning up to work, seven months after being elected.
The parliament’s discipline committee stripped him of his post because of his continued absence. He did not attend a single day of parliament sessions.
Higashitani – who is famous for his celebrity gossip videos on the social media video giant – was elected by voters to Japan’s upper house last July.
It is believed that the lawmaker is currently living in the United Arab Emirates, and as a result of his absence has gained the nickname ‘No-show MP’.
Yoshikazu Higashitani (pictured), known as GaaSyy on YouTube, was expelled by his colleagues in Japan’s senate for never turning up to work, seven months after being elected
Expulsion from parliament is the most severe punishment a lawmaker can receive.
It has only happened twice since 1950, and it is the first time an MP has been expelled due to their long absence, and without ever entering the chamber.
It is understood that he refused to attend parliamentary sessions because he fears being arrested over fraud allegations as well as defamation claims from celebrities, BBC News reported, citing local media.
The chamber is expected to finalise Higashitani’s expulsion later this week – likely on Wednesday – after he refused to apologise to the senate in person last month.
Instead of returning to his come country, Higashitani submitted a video apology to the upper house, which the chamber refused to accept.
Higashitani is one of two MPs elected to represent the populist Seijika-joshi-48 opposition party, formerly known as the NHK Party.
The single-issue party campaigns solely to reform Japan’s public broadcaster, calling for an end of license fees to the national broadcasting organisation NHK.
The head of the party, Takashi Tachibana, said he plans to step down as the leader to take responsibility for the issue surrounding Higashitani.
GaaSyy is alleged to have scammed money from several people by telling them he would give them the opportunity to meet members of the popular K-Pop band BTS.
In December, Japanese police asked Higashitani to undergo voluntary questioning on suspicion of defamation and extortion in connection to his YouTube videos.
Police also searched several locations linked to Higashitani in January.
During his time as an MP, Higashitani has recieved 18 million yen (£110,000) in salary and bonuses, the upper house has said.
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