Japan YouTuber lawmaker to be given last chance before possible expulsion

Japan's Upper House of the Diet has decided to give one last chance to a YouTuber lawmaker to explain his absence from its sessions before it considers expelling him from the legislature.

The chamber's Discipline Committee decided on Friday to discuss a penalty for opposition lawmaker GaaSyy, whose real name is Higashitani Yoshikazu, next Tuesday.

The decision came after he failed to show up on Wednesday at a plenary session, where he was due to read out an apology in person for his continued absence.

GaaSyy says he lives in the United Arab Emirates, and has not attended any Diet sessions since being elected last year.

Committee chair Suzuki Muneo said it's deeply regrettable that the lawmaker failed to apologize and that he undermined the authority of the chamber.

Suzuki also said the members will stick to the due procedures until the end, because doing so is crucial for democracy.

Committee members agreed that they will summon an executive of the party the lawmaker belongs to before deciding on a penalty.

The committee is considering stripping GaaSyy of his status as lawmaker, which is the most severe punishment.

The penalty is expected to be finalized at a plenary session on Wednesday.