Yoshikazu Higashitani, a YouTuber using the pseudonym GaaSyy, has been expelled from the Japanese parliament. The decision was made because since he was elected in mid-2022, he has not attended the meeting once. The celebrity thus became the first parliamentarian in the history of Japan to be deprived of a mandate for not coming to work.
51-year-old Yoshikazu Higashitani, popular in Japan YouTuber and celebrity using the pseudonym GaaSyy, was elected to the House of Councillors, the upper house of the Japanese parliament, in July 2022. On March 15, however, he was expelled from it because he had not attended any of the meetings since his election.
Celebrity expelled from parliament
GaaSyy was expelled from parliament almost unanimously by a majority of 235 to 1. The only person who voted against was his party colleague Satoshi Hamada. They are both members of the Seijikajoshi Party48, whose name loosely translates to “party of girl politicians 48”. Until recently, the group was called the NHK Party, and when it was founded in 2013, it had only one postulate, which was to reform the Japanese public television NHK. Party leader Ayaka Ohtsu said she was “disappointed” by the parliament’s decision and GaaSyy was allowed to perform his duties remotely.
Before Wednesday’s decision, the youtuber was reprimanded by the House of Counsel, in which he was ordered to make a formal apology. However, he did not appear at the meeting where he was supposed to do it, because – as he informed on Instagram on March 7 – he was in Turkey and helped in removing the effects of the earthquake.
GaaSyy is the first person to be expelled from the Japanese parliament since 1951, and the first person in history to be expelled for absenteeism. He is also criticized for the fact that, although he did not participate in parliamentary sessions, he downloaded around 149,000 during that time. dollars (approx. PLN 660,000) of the remuneration due to him. Expulsion from the House of Councilors does not prevent him from running for office again in the future.
GaaSyy – who is he?
GaaSyy won a parliamentary seat in July 2022 with almost 300,000 votes. votes. During his campaign and before it, he lived in the United Arab Emirates. However, he has not returned since his election, arguing that he could be detained by the police in connection with false accusations against him. According to sources from the Japanese agency Kyodo, he is suspected in law enforcement of extorting money from a number of people to whom he was supposed to meet members of the Korean boy band BTS.
Over 1.2 million people follow the celebrity on YouTube. He gained popularity by revealing alleged “scandals” involving other celebrities. Political affairs expert Jeffrey J. Hall told the Washington Post that many of his supporters “probably don’t care” about his absences from parliament and see him as a truth teller who has now become “a target of the Japanese establishment.”
NBC News, Washington Post, PAP
Main photo source: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock