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politics

Drunk Japanese politician in trouble for doing pullups inside moving train

51 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Trains in Japan tend to be both crowded and sturdily built, so should you find yourself standing and hanging onto a strap, you might find yourself impressed at how stable the bar the strap is attached to is. Sometimes that admiration can turn into curiosity, and you find yourself thinking “Hmm…I wonder if I could do a pullup on this?”

That’s a question that most people resist the urge to answer, but two demographics that are occasional exceptions are teenagers and people who have been drinking. In a sense, you could say those both applied when the 49-year-old man in the video below, who’d had a few beers while at his high school reunion before getting on the train at Isahaya Station in Nagasaki Prefecture, decided to bust out a set of pullups inside the train as it made its way down the JR Omura Line.

It’s not a particularly good look for anyone, especially someone of his age, but what made the situation especially awkward is that that’s Takahisa Kitamura, who as a member of the Nagasaki Prefectural Assembly is one of the highest-ranking politicians in the prefecture.

Kitamura says he’d had “three or four beers” at the reunion, and when asked why he decided to try to get in some exercise on the train ride home, said “It is incredibly embarrassing, but I truly have no distinct memory of how I arrived at the decision to do that.” “I have no memory” is a commonly trotted out phrase in Japan when public figures have to fess up for inebriated misconduct, but in this case there really doesn’t seem to be any possible explanation than “It seemed like a fun idea when I was drunk.”

To his credit, Kitamura didn’t mince words in criticizing himself during a press conference he held on December 14, four days after the incident took place. “I did pullups [in the train]. It was inappropriate of me, and a violation of the manners a passenger on public transportation must abide by. I wish to offer my sincere apologies to all the people of Nagasaki Prefecture and other involved parties. I am deeply sorry,” he said, adding “What I did was inexcusable, and I will exercise better self-control so that this does not happen again.”

This isn’t the first time Kitamura’s image has taken a hit due to drinking. In a 2006 blog post, he admitted to having driven while drunk, and at his December 14 press conference he confirmed that he had done so more than once.

Reactions on Twitter have included:

“Hey, Mr. Politician, do that sort of thing at the gym, OK?”

“Is he an idiot?”

“Dude acting like a junior high kid.”

“49 years old…If I’d been there, I’d have wanted to smack him in the face.”

“Drunk driving is bad, but this isn’t exactly good either.”

Sources: Nitele News via Livedoor News via Hachima Kiko, NHK News Web, TBS, Twitter

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Get your chills on the rails with Kyoto’s Ghost Train 【Video】

-- Hokkaido man found naked in laundromat in middle of the night

-- Personal information of everyone in Amagasaki City lost by person who passed out drunk on street

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

51 Comments
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Impressive at his age

16 ( +22 / -6 )

These days everyone is so sensitive and get offended easily. I find it impressive that he did that. At least he ain't some people who hit or harass others while being drunk.

31 ( +34 / -3 )

If he didn't damage the train or endanger fellow passengers, what's the big deal?

30 ( +33 / -3 )

It’s not a particularly good look for anyone, especially someone of his age, but what made the situation especially awkward is that that’s Takahisa Kitamura, who as a member of the Nagasaki Prefectural Assembly is one of the highest-ranking politicians in the prefecture.

They would be appalled by the NYC subway.

I am convinced that these tempests in a teacup of some politician breaking the "wa" are a distraction.

Gross incompetence, negligence, graft, corruption, ignorant xenophobia,racism, sexism and kleptocratic policies are all brushed aside.

"Don't embarrass us in the media!" seems to be the golden rule in the Japanese political establishment.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

Mr Kitamura just wanted some publicity. Now that he is known all over the world, is he happy? Is he going to thank Japan Today today?

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

a japanese politician can do a pullup???

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Mr Kitamura just wanted some publicity. Now that he is known all over the world, is he happy? Is he going to thank Japan Today today?

He should be thanking Sora News, they are the one's who reported it.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I've seen HS kids do the same thing on the monorail here. No one said anything, and after a couple of reps, the kids stopped, and that was it.

Publicize it and watch other idiots copy it!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

If he’s good at his job, and if he’s not hurting anyone or damaging property, I really don’t care where he does his cross-fit.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

a japanese politician can do a pullup???

Aso says he does 100 sit-ups in in office every morning.

I actually do pull-ups on trains and do stretching and small muscle training when waiting on the street for something. Don’t waste your spare time!

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Half assed chin ups, not pull ups. Idiot.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

This would be very rare for someone at that age to be able to do one. He must be in impressive shape.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Impressive set!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He should have taken off his mask before offering his sincere apologies. Also it’s bad for health at his age to do pull ups after drinking three or four beers. In today’s health conscious society that’s inexcusable.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Seriously? Does he have to do hardcore time for this?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They should give him an award for being cool.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Alcohol releases a person's inhibitors. Thus, people react to being inebriated differently. Some people become friendlier, some angrier, some more sexual, some braver, some funnier, more curious and some more responsible. It can also change each time for the same person. I have gotten tipsy before and was flooded with guilt because I had not done something, yet. While still inebriated, I would then start doing it immediately or when I got home. I think this happens with a lot of busy people. After a night of drinking, I have cleaned my entire place, called people, started working on assignments, worked out, had a night of passion, binged watched my favorite show, or simply passed out.

The dude was having one of those moments. It was irresponsible and a poor decision, but I would not make a big deal about it. At least, he is not a "mean drunk!"

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This would be very rare for someone at that age to be able to do one. He must be in impressive shape.

Not really! It was not a proper chin up or pull up.

Half assed chin ups, not pull ups.

Agree!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Fit dude!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yeah I’m sure that’s the worst thing a politician has ever done, drunk or sober! Also to be fair, even one beer in your system is considered drunk driving in Japan even if you’re nowhere near plastered.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Before the age of twitter, instagram, line Facebook, this wouldn’t even get a mention seriously! This is what people think about, and a worry about. Atleast he wasn’t touching anyone, shouting at anyone, peeing in public or fighting. There are a lot worse things a politician can, like give money to certain groups, take backhanders. Hang on! I real size todays real news is….. no murders, no middle launches, no pandemic panic.no teachers perving. Some Japanese really need to get a grip!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I can think of a lot of worse things to do drunk on a train. Give the guy a break, however, they were not very good form pull ups.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Come on. Weve all had a crack at it at some point.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

He did it for fun

so whats the problem?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japantime - This would be very rare for someone at that age to be able to do one. 

Hakman - I'm actually impressed that he can do that at his age.

Jeez, he was 49, not 79.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

ME: “What’s the big deal he’s not hurting anything”

WIFE: “That’s the gaijin way of thinking”

それがガイジンの考え方 

Another lost battle….

4 ( +6 / -2 )

‘I did pullups [in the train]’

What a legend.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Not a single pull-up was done by this dude. Not a single.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Keep ya "chin up" the world too flipping sensitive.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Aso says he does 100 sit-ups in in office every morning.

that' s probably the only thing he ever does in his office.

I actually do pull-ups on trains and do stretching and small muscle training when waiting on the street for something. Don’t waste your spare time!

my advice is get a home gym

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Well lord have mercy! That’s quite the scandal.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What’s your problem? On all other channels we are bombed 24/7 with healthier lifestyle and doing sports recommendations. And now really someone does exactly that and draws flak? That’s at minimum similar mentally sick like that drunken guy in a public train.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ex-PM Suga 74 years, does 100 sit-ups every morning before breakfast.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

He is very active for his age and must be very fertile and full of testosterone. Props to a well developed Japanese man! Keep this up and many more men will do pull-ups in your honor Kitamura San.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

blue

I wasn't laughing at Suga. I'm the same age and couldn't even do those in my dreams. I am impressed by it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

How is this an issue?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ah, the bounenkai season. Saw at least one guy throw up all over the street last night. Two people slumped on benches and passed out, and then some. They really need to crack down on the enkais.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Look, its simple, if someone starts doing this type of exercise on the train and you're standing near to them , you could get kicked, simply asking them to stop would probably get them angry and they may wish to fight you, so you probably avoiding the issue by backing away would be the most logical approach, though they simply get away with it.... and enjoy the Power rush it gives to them... which is where I think, this issue rests.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And as for a Fight, with their genitals at your arm height - one could deliver a blow that would not be forgotten, as an act of self-defense, and to ensure that they don't get off the ground afterwards to fight you back, a lights-out kick to the head may be called for, but remember, if you kill them in the process... then you yourself are now the attacker, and will, be prosecuted. So, best not get involved, grit your teeth, and walk away. Leave the A55H0LE5 to expose themselves for what they are, and don't get yourself dragged down to their level. He should not be reelected, I wouldn't be surprised that he's a Bully at work, and people find him hard to work with, but can't complain, as they'd get fired.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"I will exercise better self-control.. "

Probably shouldn't bexercising at all on trains. ;)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ages of the offended by everything.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don't really have a problem with this (I've actually done it myself, holding on to the bar triggers muscle memory), particularly as there wasn't anyone in near proximity that he was bumping into or anything, but I do understand the problem - there's an expectation that politicians wll act in a proper manner, at a higher expectation than the general public.

Still, not a big deal in the overall scheme of things in my opinion.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I find it nice to see what he likes doing in life (exercises).

No one hurt.

So Japanese to think gaijin are uncivilised if they do that in their country.

If my president Macron would do that, I would applaude.

No chin-up for sure but not like he was going for the Legion etrangere (first test is just to do 7 full chin-ups).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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