Shoko Arai, 51, voted in Kusatsu on Sunday, which is famous for its natural hot springs and resorts. In the waiver request, Aroy said the allegations “degraded” the women of the city of Kunma Prefecture.
In all, 92% of those polled said they wanted him removed.
The controversy began in November last year when Arai published an e-book claiming he had been forced into a sexual relationship with city mayor Tadanobu Kurova.
A motion to remove the mayor was voted on, and Arai was ousted from the legislature a month later. However, the eviction was appealed, and it was eventually overturned by the province.
After he was rehired, a group of 19 residents led by council chairman Takashi Kuroywa sent a waiver request to the council, prompting a referendum last week to remove Arai from office.
Arai’s statement to the media about the attack allegations also said that Kuzatz’s reputation had been tarnished. This pointed to several specific comments made by Arai that urban women were “considered objects”, and that women often became mistresses to powerful male resort owners in order to gain privileges.
The lawsuit alleges that the mayor denied the allegations and that Arai’s salary as a council member was a “waste” of taxpayers’ money.
In an official response to the council, Arai said it was the mayor and other councilors who were calling for his removal that would damage the city’s reputation and reputation.
His eviction on Sunday has pushed the resort city into national attention. Since the weekend, there have been dozens of calls to the town hall criticizing Arai’s dismissal, mostly from outside the city, said Kenzachi official Kenji Hakiwara. Many callers called the decision unreasonable and sexual.
“This is an unprecedented situation,” Hakiwara told CNN. “We are concerned that the image of this town has been damaged.”
Sex and power in Japan
The gap in politics is widening further. As of October this year, 46 of Japan’s 465 lower house legislators are women. This is 25% less than the global average of 10%.
But in seven years, the campaign has had limited success and gender discrimination and inequality are still widespread. The #MeToo movement led to positive progress in other countries and a change in cultural dialogue – but it met with opposition in Japan.
In a case that attracted international attention in 2017, freelance journalist Shiori Ido accused a top journalist of inviting her to dinner two years ago and then raping her.
The response was far from supportive – he received threats, backlash on social media, and fled Japan, fearing for the safety of himself and his family. Authorities also tried to encourage her to take legal action, he said.
His supporters celebrated the victory as a step towards justice – but told reporters after the verdict that “one victory will not destroy everything that happened”. “I have to face my emotional scars now. It’s not a decision.”
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the fact that Dadanobu Kurova is the mayor of Kuznetsov and Takashi Kurova is the chairman of the council.
CNN’s Emigo Joshua contributed to the report.
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