By Sodeyama Kaori
On June 8, House of Representatives member Honda Hiranao of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) — 56 years old and elected to office from the Hokkaido proportional representation electoral district — spoke to the press at the Diet building regarding his comment on revisions to sexual offense provisions in the criminal code and apologized. “I would like to sincerely apologize that my insufficient knowledge and comment have hurt many people and made them feel uncomfortable,” he said. He issued a statement of apology and retracted his comment on June 7, but he agreed to speak to the press for the first time.
At a meeting that the party’s working group held on May 10, he said that “it is absurd that I would be arrested if I, close to 50, had sex with a 14-year-old even if were consensual.”
Having expressed his support for the idea of punishing adults to protect children of junior high school age, he explained that “I made the comment in the course of thinking that careful consideration is needed.” But he did not answer additional questions from the press and left.