politics

Japan’s 1st ’paternity leave’ lawmaker resigns over extramarital affair

57 Comments

Kensuke Miyazaki, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmaker who rose to fame for becoming the first Japanese lawmaker to file for paternity leave and to vocally advocate men’s rights and obligations to support women in looking after children, resigned Friday over admitting to having an affair with a model that took place just days before his wife gave birth.

At a press conference at the National Diet in Tokyo on Friday morning, Miyazaki, 35, bowed repeatedly and said he deeply regretted his actions and has decided to resign from his position, Fuji TV reported. He specifically apologized to his wife and “those who had considered the debate regarding paternity leave.”

“Because my inappropriate acts have contradicted the policy I have advocated in public, I have made the decision to submit my resignation as a member of the Diet,” Miyazaki said, repeating the word “fukaku” (deeply [regret]) three times in a row.

News of Miyazaki’s affair broke on Wednesday when the tabloid Shukan Bunshun leaked that he spent the night of Jan 30 with a model, identified as Mayu Miyazawa, at his apartment in his constituency in Kyoto on Jan 30, six days before his wife Megumi Kaneko gave birth to a baby boy at a Tokyo hospital on Feb 5.

Kaneko, 37, is a fellow Lower House member of the ruling LDP party.

During the press conference, Miyazaki admitted that the allegations against him were correct and that he had met the woman a total of three times, though they no longer keep in touch, Fuji TV reported. He further admitted that he had relations with other women apart from Miyazawa after marrying Kaneko.

Miyazaki confessed his infidelity to his wife, who is still hospitalized following post-birth complications, Sports Nippon reported Friday. Kaneko has reportedly told Miyazaki to “spit out everything” and take responsibility for his actions, even if that meant to “disgrace himself publicly,” the paper reported.

“I would most of all like to apologize to my wife and my family, as well as those who have supported my wife,” Miyazaki said at the press conference. “I did a horrible thing to my wife despite her just having given birth. I would like to use my remaining time in life to make it right for her and my child.”

Miyazaki caused a stir in Japan late last year following his announcement to take a one-month paternity leave after his child was born, as there are currently no regulations on childcare leave in the lower house. Miyazaki’s actions were praised by many who believed the lawmaker was setting a precedent for advancement in women’s rights and child rearing in conservative Japan, though he also faced a considerable amount of criticism by a number of Diet members and scholars, including the Nihon University political science professor Yoshikazu Iwabuchi, who criticised Miyazaki’s intentions, saying that he believed the man had “more important things to do as a Diet member.”

When announcing his paternity leave plans, Miyazaki said that his actions reflected on his willingness "to promote women's social advancement.”

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


57 Comments
Login to comment

seems like the ldp old boys just got rid of a problem the old-fashioned way: leak gossip to a gossip rag. but wow, this guy blew it big time.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Wow, embarrassing for all concerned. Still a long way off western standards for childcare regulations and equality Japan (though they ain't perfect there either).

3 ( +5 / -2 )

While Miyazaki is clearly a cad, this has all the hallmarks of a well-planned sting operation.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

Kaneko, 37, a fellow Lower House member of the ruling LDP party.

Now she should also resign and take responsibility for her husband's immoral act (!)

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

This story reminds me of the question:Which is worse,cheating on your spouse or cheating on your taxes? But if a govt minister is known to have taken money in bribes and still not resign from the diet,I see no reason why a married man cheating on his wife needs to go.It's a private issue between him and her,no?

21 ( +24 / -3 )

Honey trap?

13 ( +13 / -0 )

the first Japanese lawmaker to file for paternity leave and to vocally advocate men’s rights and obligations to support women

Oh the irony. You couldn't write comedy like this (Not funny for his wife, though).

At least now he'll have lots of time to look after his new baby.

If his wife will let him back in the family home, that is. If he were mine, I'd want a divorce.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Let's hope his name becomes embedded in history via the lexicon (much like Santorum): From now on, the action of feigning concern over family by taking paternity leave but instead spending the time with a mistress should be called "doing a Miyazaki."

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Is he now on 'pratforenternity leave'?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It's quite interesting to see a Japanese Male getting ambushed from having an affair. They usually don't the backlash like the women.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If this was the entertainment industry, the wife would probably be the one expected to resign.

Yes, the sexism there is that bad that a scandal involving a cheating LDP politician can actually be held up as a rational counter point.

You gotta feel sorry for their kid though. Barely even born and having a father so selfish that he cheats on his/her mom when she was about to deliver. You have to wonder, if he had enough time to be having an affair, what exactly did he need paternity leave for?

Im all in favor of paternity leave, but obviously not for guys like that who use it to cheat on their kids mom.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

cleo: Actually, more ironic than the man filing for paternity leave and getting caught cheating while promoting the 'advancement and support of women' is the fact that he COULD look at it as 'extended paternity leave', except that if his wife chooses, and I hope she does, it could well result in his permanent excommunication from the family.

I have to agree with cracaphat in terms of the double standard, though; when lawmakers create HUGE scandals involving heaps of money they often keep their jobs and their seat in the House, why can't this guy? Embarrassing as hell, yes, but it is a private 'affair'.

Hope his wife leaves him and takes half his future salary... if he has any.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

I see a Hollywood movie in the works. Brilliant!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

in the normal world too, this happens alot here in Japan... yes, while the wife is in labour, the husband is off messing around.. what a joke

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"I have to agree with cracaphat in terms of the double standard, though; when lawmakers create HUGE scandals involving heaps of money they often keep their jobs and their seat in the House, why can't this guy? Embarrassing as hell, yes, but it is a private 'affair'."

I honestly think the sheer number of backhanders that hit the papers and the knowledge that Japanese politics is rife with back-scratching and brown envelopes has made people largely shrug their shoulders. This, however, is tabloid gold - emotive, scandalous and sleazy and will be outrage many who generally couldn't care less about dodgy, connected rich kids ripping off their taxes. I can hear the "well, if I were her...."already.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Shukan Bunshun is on a roll this year - first Becky and now this guy. Wonder who's next?

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Well, this is a fine kettle of fish. Or sound I say fishy 'cause this story stinks. A mentioned above, a trap to put him in his place after daring to say he will take a month paternity leave?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This was mentioned on CNN this afternoon. Now he can be a global embarrassment. I wonser how he is going to explain this to his kid. And he could have been entrapped, but he took the bait.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

according to japanese celebrity culture, shouldn't his wife be punished and kicked out of the gov?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

a trap to put him in his place after daring to say he will take a month paternity leave?

if it was a trap, he walked right into it. Three times.

You can lead a horse to water....

he seems like basically a nice guy

He may not be as bad as a multiple serial killer with bad breath, but basically nice guys don't do what he did.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Even if there was a trap/sting operation, he's still to blame for his own actions, doubly so as his wife was heavily pregnant and triply so as a member of the government. The borderline criminals who are defrauding the taxpayer and accepting bribes should get out too, but this guy was right to resign.

It's also on the BBC now.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

She's nine months pregnant, can't he keep it in his pants for a couple of months?

Usually at this point guys have already been keeping it in their pants for a few months, with a few more to go. Some wives won't sleep with their husbands at all once they get pregnant, so this can be near a period of a year.

I'm not saying this excuses it (when the wife is pregnant, you have to make some sacrifices), but it can be the reasoning behind it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I'm not saying this excuses it (when the wife is pregnant, you have to make some sacrifices), but it can be the reasoning behind it.

Little brother isn't known for his powers of 'reasoning'.

Everyone knows the score; when a baby's on the way, nukie takes a back seat for a while. If he couldn't 'reason' that, he shouldn't have made a baby.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The headline is hilarious! So, that's how one uses paternity leave? Bwahahaha!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Everyone knows the score; when a baby's on the way, nukie takes a back seat for a while..... Apart from an emergency caesarian,which forced us to not do for awhile,my missus and I still got it on as per normal when she was pregnant.When I hear that kind of talk,I feel like who made that up? Barring a health issue and the love is still there,why stop? And I haven't heard the word nookie since I was a teen.Feel old now.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If his wife will let him back in the family home, that is. If he were mine, I'd want a divorce.

I agreed with you until I read this. If its the family house, then why does the wife alone get to decide if he's allowed in. Seems a bit sexist.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If she was so horribly horrible, what was he doing giving her a baby in the first place?

My goodness! He didn't give her anything. This baby was born as a result of a spiritual and physical union of two souls. To say that one he was ”giving” her a baby shows enormous contempt for the woman's role in conception.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Even if there was a trap/sting operation, he's still to blame for his own actions, doubly so as his wife was heavily pregnant and triply so as a member of the government. The borderline criminals who are defrauding the taxpayer and accepting bribes should get out too, but this guy was right to resign."

On balance, I'd prefer a house full of debauched philanderers to a house full of thieves. I'm not convinced 'borderline' is necessary in the first sentence.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Barring a health issue and the love is still there,why stop?

'Take a back seat' doesn't have to mean 'stop'. Just it's not the most important thing. And it's hardly a sign of love to insist on carrying on as normal when one half of the equation is feeling nauseous, or has backache, or is exhausted from carrying the bump around all day....and after the birth, you need around a month or so for things to heal. If there's no problems on either side, that's fine, congratulations: but for most couples, there can be expected to be a bit of a dip in activity as the Day approaches.

If its the family house, then why does the wife alone get to decide if he's allowed in. Seems a bit sexist.

Err, because he's the one who broke the contract? If she were the one entertaining young male models it would be the same, he would be justified in kicking her out.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Every single one of those LDP cronies has skeletons in their closet. You ever wonder why this guy's skeletons - affairs which according to news has been going on since last year - came up just a few days after he declared that he's going to take paternity leave ? No doubt he pissed off the wrong people.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I just say this guy's apology on TV, looks like a typical slimy politician to me. But, I don't like how this seems like a convenient way to make paternity leave look bad. I think his behavior is wrong, but no need to connect it to paternity leave.

And nice explaination 'we are no longer in touch' according to my astute calculations, it's been a whole 13days since the day he admitted to meeting her, and only one week since the birth of his first son. Not convinced he has cut ties.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

headline wrong. this wasnt an xtra marital affair. plain simple, this was three romps with paid escort, paid by his sting ops, and she not a model, just an escort call girl for hire. honey trapeze indeed.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Wait... I thought there was a court ruling that married couples could not have separate names?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What a hypocrite!

Time for a change, Japan.

Haven't you had enough of dubious ethics and corruption?

Voting ANY PARTY but the LDP in the next election might be a good idea.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

And it's hardly a sign of love to insist on carrying on as normal when one half of the equation is feeling nauseous, or has backache, or is exhausted from carrying the bump around all day....and after the birth, you need around a month or so for things to heal. If there's no problems on either side, that's fine, congratulations.

Nitpicking on the obvious there Cleo.Who talked about doing it when not well? I never said.Stay calm.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Who talked about doing it when not well? I never said.

You said you and your missus still got it on as per normal when she was pregnant. During the whole 9 months, she had no nausea, no backache, no aching legs, no more-tired-than-normal? At all? Your missus is superwoman. A real keeper!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Heheh, so the paternity leave is an excuse to get more nukie time on the side

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So he misunderstood the word just a little?. He thought that during paternity leave one should try to father a child?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Its so much 20th century!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How many comical scandals have there been so far in the LDP this year alone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He said he tried to increase the birth rate by showing himself involving in raising children. But this just makes harder for fathers to take the pertanity leave.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Again, my posts were deleted and others altered. not just oarts deleted, but altered to make it appear as if posters said thigs they did not.

ahemm, read your guidelines. still waiting on notification.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Miyazaki and Becky would make a lovely couple!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

It's possible that Miyakawa was part of a honey trap operation to snare Miyazaki. But since he took the bait, as well as admitting to cheating on his wife with an unspecified number of other women, I'm not too inclined to shed any tears for him.

Interestingly, Miyazaki's previous wife (2006-2009) was also a politician, Ayuko Kato, daughter of the famous politician Koichi Kato. I've heard rumors that marriage broke up due to Miyazaki's womanizing but I don't know for sure.

If this was the US he'd probably be crawling off for a stint in rehab for sex addiction.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He should have said in a straight face "I did not have sexual relations with that woman", and all will be forgiven,

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@eye

Actually he did try a version of that when the reporters were on his heels as he was trying to catch a taxi, asking them to please give him a break because he didn't know what/who they were talking about. Then the next night (I think it was), he literally took off running down the hallway of the Diet building with a pack of reporters in pursuit. At his press conference today he admitted to lying when he said he didn't know Miyakawa, and was just hoping he could somehow bluff his way out of the prediciment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And I thought we had a monopoly on lying and cheating politicians in the USA.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He could be a Republican! Or an evangelical Christian.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What's with the crusade? So he cheated on his wife. Maybe that makes him a bad husband, but last time I checked, adultery wasn't a crime.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That guy presented himself as'the best of the Ikumen', the ultimate caring hubby and father giving priority to his family over work and official duty. It's totally shocking that he was not at the future Mom's side in the hard moments, not anxious to welcome the baby and check both are safe ? Even if he had been seen at karaoke singing anime songs with his brother, that'd be shocking. Shocking he was not next to them in Tokyo. Note sure he is necessary in their lives.

If its the family house, then why does the wife alone get to decide if he's allowed in.

You think a family should accept a character that brings his lovers (maybe delivery health) at home while his relatives are in hospital ?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What'll people say about the next lawmaker to request paternity leave?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan's government and more specifically the muppets that work there make a complete laughing stock of the country, the amount of ridiculous scandals like this....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Barring a health issue and the love is still there,why stop?

For most of the pregnancy, there is no problem with continuing to have sex (if the woman is feeling up to it of course). However, many Japanese women are under the impression that there should be no sex after pregnancy, and will not sleep with their husbands even if they are feeling fine.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have to say that this is one of the few scandals that I find amusing and mildly interesting.

It really is nothing however, without the smiling face and er... frontal shot of the woman he cheated with. If you really want to get the full flavor of the scandal, find the picture of her in a blue bikini and then put it next to a picture of this guy and his young wife in kimono and just let the full flavor sink in. It will bring a laugh, I guarantee it.

I have to admit I get so jaded by this stuff that I think it is all planned and scripted, but in this case, the writers really did their job in cooking this up, so ... kudos.

On the odd chance that it is "real," then all I can say is that they are all adults. If only they were all sterile.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For most of the pregnancy, there is no problem with continuing to have sex (if the woman is feeling up to it of course). However, many Japanese women are under the impression that there should be no sex after pregnancy, and will not sleep with their husbands even if they are feeling fine.

My sentiments exactly Strangerland, tho there was an attempt to twist my wording in a rant last night.And then had to read lame aspersions being cast. A good friend of mine didn't have whilst his wife was preggers and there were no unusual circumstances beyond the obvious when a woman is pregnant.She didn't want to and he just had to sux it up.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites