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
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