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Coronavirus

Japan Official Dismissed Over Visit to Expensive Club Defying COVID Emergency

February 1, 2021

TOKYO — A Japanese vice education minister has been dismissed from his Cabinet post over his recent visit at an expensive Tokyo hostess club, defying an ongoing coronavirus state of emergency.

Taido Tanose told reporters Monday that Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga reprimanded and dismissed him as vice education minister over the hostess bar visit. He then submitted his resignation from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, along with two other senior LDP lawmakers who were clubbing with him.

Earlier Monday, another senior lawmaker, Kiyohiko Toyama, announced his resignation as legislator to take responsibility for a separate Tokyo hostess club visit last month. He belongs to Komeito, a junior partner of Suga’s ruling coalition.

The four lawmakers defied an ongoing coronavirus state of emergency request for the people to restrain nightlife and bar visits, and for restaurants to close early.

Suga on Jan. 7 placed the Tokyo region — and added seven other urban prefectures a week later — under a state of emergency through Feb. 7. Japan has seen about 5,700 virus deaths.

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