Japanese lawmaker GaaSyy agrees to apologize in Diet session

A member of Japan's Upper House who has been skipping Diet sessions has agreed to attend a Diet session for the first time to read out an apology.

GaaSyy, whose real name is Higashitani Yoshikazu, is a YouTuber who won a seat in last July's Upper House election. He has not attended any Diet sessions despite repeated calls for him to do so. He says he resides in the United Arab Emirates.

The lawmaker belongs to the NHK Party, whose platform calls for reforms of the public broadcaster.

Last week, the Upper House agreed to demand an apology in person from GaaSyy in the chamber. The punishment is the third-most serious of four penalties that can be handed down to lawmakers.

Upper House Rules and Administration Committee chairman Ishii Junichi then asked GaaSyy's office if he would comply with the demand and set a Monday 11 a.m. deadline.

GaaSyy's secretary submitted a response to Ishii stating that the lawmaker would appear at an Upper House plenary session to read out an apology.

Ishii said he would report GaaSyy's response to Upper House President Otsuji Hidehisa. The chamber's Rules and Administration Committee will discuss the date and other details for the apology.