Tokyo police search offices linked to YouTuber lawmaker accused of defamation

Investigative sources say Tokyo police have searched several locations linked to a Diet member over allegations that he defamed and intimidated prominent figures on his YouTube channel.

GaaSyy, whose real name is Higashitani Yoshikazu, won an Upper House seat in July last year. He belongs to the NHK Party -- whose platform calls for reforms to NHK, including the public broadcaster's system for receiving its fees from viewers.

Sources say that on Wednesday, police searched the locations related to a Tokyo-based company that manages GaaSyy's income from the video-sharing site.

A number of prominent figures filed complaints saying they were slandered or intimidated by the legislator in his videos. Tokyo police have been questioning relevant people.

Last month, the police contacted GaaSyy through his lawyer to ask him to answer questions on a voluntary basis.

GaaSyy has been staying in the United Arab Emirates and has not attended any Diet sessions.

NHK Party Leader Tachibana Takashi told reporters last month that GaaSyy has expressed his intention to return to Japan to respond to police questioning.